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Ashraf F. Fouad, BDS, DDS, MS
Professor, Chairman, Director of Postgraduate Endodontics
Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry

Microbial analysis of endodontic infections:
Novel molecular techniques offer high specificity and sensitivity in detecting cultivable as well as not-yet-cultured endodontic pathogens. Over the past few years we have sought to characterize the microbial irritants in endodontic infections and relate them to a history of diabetes mellitus. We are also interested in describing a clonal analysis of microbial associations with clinical symptoms and resistance to healing.

Endodontic treatment outcomes:
With the advent of newer technologies in endodontic treatment, there is a great need to run randomized clinical trials to determine the most effective clinical protocols. Central to these studies are clinical information systems that allow the tracking of data on patient care, and the use of novel diagnostic and imaging systems. The objective determination of healing of periradicular lesions is critical in these studies. Thus the use of algorithms to document radiographic changes with time is an important component of evaluating treatment outcome. Furthermore, the effects of system disease and residual microbial phylotypes on the treatment outcome is essential in obtaining a comprehensive determination of the treatment outcome.
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Identification of effective endodontic antimicrobial agents:
Pulpal and periradicular disease is caused by microorganisms and microbial irritants, and can cause significant morbidity, and on rare occasions mortality. The prognosis of endodontic therapy in cases with pre-operative infections (pulp necrosis with periradicular disease) is lower than that of cases with vital pulp, and frequently these teeth are lost. However, the healing of extraction sockets following extraction of a tooth with a periradicular lesion appears to be faster and more predictable than healing following endodontic therapy. Therefore, more effective antimicrobial therapy may enhance and accelerate healing following endodontic therapy.

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