Resorption occurs when the the cells of the body which are a normal part of the turnover of bone (osteoclasts) start to resorb/breakdown the tooth structure.
The following conditions have the potential to cause resorption to varying extends:
Tooth restorative procedures (pulp inflammation)
Long-standing root canal infection
Unknown (idiopathic) causes.
In can affect the INTERNAL root canal surface or the EXTERNAL root surface. The extent of resorption can vary from a small area with no detrimental effect on the survival of the tooth to significant tooth loss, deeming the tooth unsaveable.
When teeth affected by resorption are assessed, we may need to take a small CT scan to assess the amount of tooth structure affected by the process.
Depending on the type, position and extent of resorption, the tooth can be managed by root canal treatment (link to rct page) or Endodontic surgery.
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