Root Resorption

This morning my colleague  Dr Daniels, pulled me into a patient room during a routine hygiene check to confer on a patient’s exam and check radiograph. After careful inspection of the radiograph and confirmation clinically with my explorer,  “Yup”, I said,” I concur with your diagnosis of external resorption  “.




This is a rare, but not so uncommon condition that we detect in dental radiography. Often missed clinically due to the nature of the location of the lesion. Sometimes missed by the radiography due to overlapping silhouettes of teeth on the image. There can be a subtle radiolucency (slightly grey shadow) typically at the joint area where the tooth meets the bone on a radiograph. This area should be white on a radiograph. Patients are most often asymptomatic, no pain or sensitivity at all.

Essentially, there is an exaggerated sense of biological activity at the Cementum Enamel Junction (C.E.J. ).  As result, the root of the tooth dissolves away; indiscriminate destruction which is usually rapid necessitating an immediate extraction.

When caught early, treatment is root canal which removes the biological source and a full coverage restoration. Luckily,  in this case it was  caught early. Even though detected early, prognosis will be guarded for years to come. Over the decades of my practicing, I have seen several, “caught early” resorbed teeth  functioning out living their statistical doom.

No one really knows why this resorption happens. Don’t worry, it’s not a pre-cancer event, or lack vitamin thing for sure! This phenomenon is unrelated to personal hygiene care; no decay associated with these sites, just a wide nondescript hole in the root. The dominant thought is that the resorption is in response to a trauma such as: trauma (MVA) , severe teeth grinding, and even orthodontic tooth movement.

Dr. Daniels being a fantastic dentist, utilizing a routine current set of bitewing radiographs, was able to detect the incipient imperfection of the failing tooth. I am anticipating a successful outcome with the tooth for the patient.

Dr. Emilio & Associates,  Always Accepts  New Patients. He especially exceeds at treating same day emergencies patients suffering from tooth ache pains.

His goal is to keep his patients’ Teeth and Gums Healthy For Life.

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Author: robertemiliodds

My Passion is People and the Teeth Connected To Them! General dentist

5 thoughts on “Root Resorption”

  1. I feel that with you I learn something new every day! Thank you for the info.
    I have work with many different doctors and till now you have been the only one that shows so much passion for dentistry and love, the way you treat pt is like a big family is sd o nice to see that. Is amazing to see you work!
    How did you find out that Dentistry was something that you wanted to do for the rest of your life Dr.?

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