A flare-up of pain can occur in a patient undergoing endodontic therapy. Several definitions have been proposed.

Patient selection: status post root canal procedure


Features of various definitions for a flare-up:

(1) presence of pain

(2) presence of swelling or other change in adjacent gingiva or mucosa

(3) time frame relative to an endodontic procedure

(4) requirement for an unplanned intervention


Pain may be defined in various ways:

(1) severe

(2) based on an increase in a VAS scale (>= 20 mm)

(3) strongly expressed


Time frame may be defined as:

(1) 4 to 24 hours after an initial appointment

(2) after an initiation or continuation of a treatment

(3) within a few hours or days following a root canal treatment

(4) within 24 or 48 hours after an endodontic treatment


Proposed definition:

(1) severe pain in an endodontically treated tooth

(2) more than 4 hours after an endodontic treatment

(3) with or without swelling

(4) with or without a need for an unplanned intervention to address the symptoms

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