Identifying new ideas and research into endodontics

The Endodontics Research Program at UWA has been active since 1986 and has evolved over time, with most projects leading to new ideas and identification of the need for more research. Initial work focused on the use and benefits of medicaments during root canal treatment. This then led to work on irrigating solutions and other methods for eliminating bacteria from the root canal system.

Our research into endodontics aims to improve:

  • clinicians’ ability to understand and apply diagnostic tests
  • the outcomes of root canal treatment and for teeth that have suffered trauma
  • patient experience through better pain control during treatment, and
  • case selection processes through a better understanding of the biomechanics of teeth affected by disease

Our work also seeks to provide evidence for the many technical aspects of root canal treatment that have not been investigated previously.

Our program has six main research objectives:

  • Investigate the use of diagnostic tests by dentists and to determine their usefulness for different disease presentations.
  • Improve the outcomes of root canal treatment by testing various approaches to treatment.
  • Test various local anaesthetic solutions and techniques, plus various drug regimens to improve the patient experience via better and predictable pain control during treatment.
  • Explore the biomechanics of teeth with particular emphasis on their strength and avoiding fractures, in order to improve case selection processes for teeth with pulp or root canal conditions.
  • Research various technical aspects of root canal treatment that have not been investigated previously.
  • Investigate various treatment approaches for the management of traumatised teeth in order to improve their outcomes, and in particular with respect to preventing external inflammatory resorption.

     Research Program Lead: Winthrop Professor Paul V. Abbott AO


Pain management has been a major focus over the years, with projects investigating the reasons for continuing pain following treatment, management of intra-operative pain and post-operative pain control. The use of different local anaesthetic solutions and techniques has been a more recent focus, with the particular emphasis on controlling pain while managing acute irreversible pulpitis cases.

Mechanical testing of teeth has been undertaken to determine the true effects of root canal treatment on tooth structure. This work has been done in collaboration with engineering colleagues at UWA and has been designed to disprove many of the concepts and misperceptions that exist within the profession.

The group has also investigated cracks and their propagation through teeth with engineering colleagues. This work has included clinical studies, simulated clinical studies laboratory studies. It has led to more reliable diagnosis of cracks in teeth, knowledge of how to manage cracks and their effects on the tooth structure and how long-term prognosis and restorative dental needs can be better assessed.

Some of our projects:

  • A retrospective study of avulsed teeth
  • A survey of factors associated with fractured roots and teeth restored with post/crowns
  • A review of potential aetiological factors associated with external invasive resorption
  • A review of the clinical management of external invasive resorption.
  • Interim restorations used during endodontic treatment
  • The use of stainless steel bands and their effects on bacterial penetration into teeth
  • The effects of simulated mastication on teeth following root canal treatment and restoration


  • Dr Mithran Goonewardene (Dentistry, UWA)
  • Dr Julio Rincon (Dentistry, UWA)
  • Professor Tim Sercombe (Engineering, UWA)
  • Professor Yinong Liu (Engineering, UWA)
  • Winthrop Professor Mark Bush (Engineering, UWA)
  • Professor Laurie Walsh (University of Queensland)
  • Dr Basil Athanassiadis (University of Queensland)
  • Professor Masoud Parirokh (Kerman University, Iran)
  • Dr Fariborz Moazami (Shiraz University, Iran)
  • Dr Hamid Jafarzadeh (Mashad University, Iran)
  • Dr David Semeniuk (University of North Carolina, US)
  • Dr Dilek Helvacioglu-Yigit (Turkey)
  • Dr Domenico Ricucci (Italy)
  • Associate Professor Pattama Chailertvanitkul (Khon Kaen Uni, Thailand)
  • Professor Wenmei Wang (Nanjing University, China)

Contact Winthrop Professor Paul V. Abbott AO