The primary goals of endodontic treatment are straightforward: to debride and disinfect the root canal space to the greatest possible extent, and then seal the canals as effectively as possible. The materials and techniques change somewhat over time, but not the ultimate goals. The primary goals of restorative treatment are to restore teeth to function and comfort and in some cases, aesthetics. Once again, the materials and techniques change, but not the ultimate goals of treatment. Successful endodontic treatment depends on the restorative treatment that follows. The connection between
endodontic treatment and restorative dentistry is well accepted, but the best restorative approaches for endodontically treated teeth have always been somewhat controversial. The topic is no less controversial today, despite the massive (and ever growing) amount of information available from research, journal articles, courses, ‘‘expert’’ opinions, and various sources from the Internet. In fact, information overload contributes to the controversy because so much of it is contradictory. With the emergence of implants into the mainstream of dentistry, there has been more emphasis on long-term outcomes and on evaluating the ‘‘restorability’’ of teeth prior to endodontic treatment. Patients are not well served if the endodontic treatment is successful but the tooth fails. The long-term viability of endodontically treated teeth is no longer a ‘‘given’’ in the implant era. In consequence, some teeth that might have received endodontic treatment in the past are now extracted and replaced with implant-supported prostheses if they are marginally restorable or it makes more sense in the overall treatment plan. It is not possible to review in one article all the literature
on the restoration of endodontically treated teeth. This article therefore focuses primarily on current concepts based on the literature from the past 10 years or so, and provides treatment guidelines based on that research.