Resorption is a term that is used to refer to changes that affect the roots of teeth that may not be exclusively the result of a fracture or decay. Internal and external resorption indicate where the condition begins.
What Is Internal Resorption
Internal resorption begins at the innermost surface of the root of a tooth, or where the surface forms the boundary of the nerve chamber of a tooth. Inflammation, related to resorption, typically results from some type of irritation, such as what may arise after the placement of a deep filling, or from a trauma. If the resorption progresses to the root's outer surface, treatment cannot proceed.
What Is External Resorption
External resorption begins at the external or outermost surface of a root, or where a tooth's root connects to the jawbone through the ligament that holds a tooth inside its socket. Color changes in the tooth may indicate external resorption. However, resorption—both internal and external—most often shows up on x-rays. Usually, trauma or orthodontic movement are the most common reason for the condition. However, tumors, cysts, or adjacent impacted teeth, may also trigger external resorption.
Why Should Resorption Be Treated and What Is the Treatment?
Resorption requires treatment. Otherwise, it can lead to tooth loss. In some cases, the tooth is lost anyway. When resorption is treated, a root canal is usually performed. During the therapy, the pulp is removed along with inflammation. The progress of resorption is usually gradual enough that we can catch the condition in time by taking x-rays. Typically, we can cure external resorption by removing the tissue invading a tooth's root. We follow with debridement of the root's surface and by replacing the root structure with a restorative substance. If the tooth is removed, we usually recommend that an implant be placed.
We suggest that x-rays be regularly taken to catch unusual conditions, such as resorption. To learn more about the condition, contact us any time. Give us a call today to schedule a periodontal exam and consultation.