Potential Dental Treatments For External Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption is a rare condition where the body mistakenly attacks and removes the mineralized tissue inside the tooth. Internal resorption refers to when the attacking cells pull the tooth's dentin and pupal walls into the root canal running through the center of your tooth. External resorption is more difficult to treat than internal, because the cells attack the very root structures of your teeth.

Here are a couple of the potential treatments for external tooth resorption.

Root Resection

Many teeth have more than one tooth root. If the resorption is only affecting one of the roots, a professional dentist, like those at Baker Allan DDS, might try to save the tooth with a root resection.

Your dentist will need to perform a traditional root canal procedure ahead of the root removal so that there aren't any sensitive nerve or tissue cells inside. The root canal procedure involves the dentist accessing the root canal, scraping out all of the pulp material inside, and then sealing the tooth back closed with an artificial crown. The root resection can then proceed.

For the resection, your dentist will access the affected root through an incision in the gums. The root is then removed through a combination of cutting and drilling. Depending on the damage in the area and the amount of root that's taken out, your dentist might need to perform a bone graft. The graft will use bone from the roof of your mouth to splice into a weakened area so that the tooth has a stronger support structure.

Root resection can save the tooth but only if your resorption doesn't continue and destroy the remaining root. At that point, there's not much your dentist can do to save the tooth.

Extraction and Dental Replacement

The resorption of your tooth root or roots make it unlikely that the dentist will be able to save the tooth. Extraction is often the only treatment option.

But it's important to discuss dental replacement options ahead of the extraction. You will want to fill the gap as quickly as possible with an artificial tooth to prevent shifting teeth or loss of gum and bone tissue in the gap.

A dental implant is one of the better dental replacement options for several reasons. Implants look and feel more natural than many other replacement options. And the jawbone-supported metal root will help stimulate bone regeneration in the area, which is particularly important if you have other teeth in the area suffering the initial symptoms of external resorption.