External resorption

Aug 22, 2023
Hello! A dentist spotted resorption on my routine dental X-ray and referred me to an endo, who said I have external resorption, rather than internal, and nothing further can be done, from his perspective. I have no symptoms, but the endo said the tooth could fail at any time, months or years. Would extraction (and subsequent implant) now be the best course of action? See my X-rays attached. Any idea about what stage on the Heithersay scale my case would be? Also, what is the predominant theory on what causes resorption? I have had no trauma to the tooth but did have braces as a teen. Thank you!


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Aug 8, 2023
I'm sorry to hear about your dental situation. While I can provide general information, it's essential to consult your dentist and endodontist for personalized advice. Based on the information you've provided:

  1. Treatment Approach: External resorption, if detected early and not causing symptoms, might not require immediate treatment. However, the tooth's prognosis can be uncertain. Consulting with an experienced dentist or oral surgeon for a second opinion is advisable to determine the best course of action based on your specific case.
  2. Extraction and Implant: Extraction followed by dental implant placement could indeed be a consideration, especially if the tooth's stability becomes compromised. Dental implants are a common solution for replacing extracted teeth, offering stability and a natural appearance.
  3. Heithersay Scale: External resorption can progress at different rates. The Heithersay scale categorizes external resorption into five stages, with Stage 1 being the least severe and Stage 5 being the most severe. It's important for a dental professional to assess your case and determine its stage accurately.
  4. Causes of Resorption: The exact cause of external resorption isn't always clear, but there are several potential factors. It can sometimes be a response to inflammation, pressure, or trauma. In your case, a previous history of braces could potentially contribute to the development of resorption, although each case is unique.
Remember, your dentist and endodontist are the best sources of information regarding your specific situation. If you have concerns or questions, don't hesitate to seek a second opinion from another dental professional. They can provide insights into your options, potential risks, and the best way to manage your dental health moving forward.


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