Can you Fix Tooth Resorption?


In order to properly understand root resorption, it is important to understand the general term resorption. Resorption is a term used to describe a part of the body which begins to absorb into another part. This process can occur in various places throughout the body with different body parts and tissues. When resorption occurs within dentistry, it is the progressive loss of part of the tooth. This can be caused by odontoclasts.


Odontoclasts are naturally occurring cells which break down the roots of the baby teeth. This causes them to eventually fall out. In some situations, odontoclasts may also begin to attack permanent adult teeth.


Various portions of the tooth can be impacted by resorption. This may include the interior pulp, cementum or portion which covers the root, the dentin or layer of tooth below the enamel, and the tooth’s root.


The two different types of resorption are internal and external. Internal tooth resorption means the actual inside portion of the tooth is being absorbed into the tooth canal. This impacts the dentin or cementum. It causes the tissue to become inflamed and absorbed, resulting in the inside of the tooth becoming hollow. The tooth’s tissue turns into giant, inflamed cells which are eventually absorbed into the root.


External tooth resorption is more common. This occurs when the outside layers of the tooth start to deteriorate. There are several categories of external resorption. Inflammatory resorption takes place when there is a prolonged insult which leads to pathological resorption. Surface resorption describes an inflammatory resorption which is transient and self-limiting. Cervical resorption occurs specifically in the cemental-enamel junction. This is just below the epithelial attachment in the tooth. Replacement resorption occurs when the tooth’s tissue is resorbed and replaced with bone. It follows after the ankylosis of the root and takes place in the alveolar bone.



After a patient receives a diagnosis for tooth resorption from a dental professional, they will work diligently to eliminate the resorption and preserve the tooth. In most cases, damaged portions of the tooth must be removed in order to prevent further damage. Common treatments include a root canal, removal and replacement of the crown, oral surgery, and extraction of the tooth in severe cases.


When the affected area can be accessed, the dentist may be able to apply Biodentine along with an amalgam carrier. As the Biodentine sets, it can be carved around the damage from resorption. This treatment has demonstrated high success rates and positive outcomes.



In many cases of tooth resorption, it is caused by physical trauma or an accident. Because of this, it can be quite challenging to prevent. Patients should follow general recommendations for protecting the teeth such as wearing a mouth guard while playing sports or performing certain recreational activities. It is also important for patients who experience any oral trauma to follow up with their dentist right away. The dentist can examine the teeth and check for signs of resorption. They can also order x-rays if needed and schedule a follow up appointment to monitor the teeth.


In order to properly treat tooth resorption, early detection and prompt treatment are critical. Patients should make regular visits to the dentist for examinations and professional cleanings.

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