Decompression strategy for critical-sized lesions: A case series and literature review

Document Type



Dental-oral, Maxillo-facial Surgery


Critical-sized lesions are defined as the smallest sized intraosseous wound in a particular bone that will not heal spontaneously during the lifetime of that animal. These critical-sized entities pose a unique challenge in endodontics, where these lesions are most likely cystic, with dimensions extending over 10 mm. This paper describes a structured methodology to treat such cases whilst also highlighting inconsistencies and variability between practitioners regarding management of critical-sized lesions. The case series demonstrates that non-surgical root canal therapy followed by surgical decompression may be the treatment of choice for such pathosis. A 16 gauge nasogastric tube was used as a decompression device and sutured to surrounding mucosa. Healing was evaluated using both two- and three-dimensional radiographs. Decompression of critical-sized lesions would appear to be a reliable, conservative and an altogether complete procedure that may not warrant second-stage surgery.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Australian Endodontic Journal