Root Resorption In Adults: What It Is And What Can Be Done To Treat It

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Root resorption is a natural process where the body's own cells dissolve tooth structure. It's basically what allows the baby teeth in young children to painlessly fall out to make way for adult teeth. However, this condition can also occur in some adults, which can end up causing serious problems. Learn more about this uncommon problem and what can be done to treat it.

A pink tooth isn't a healthy tooth.

A common indicator that root resorption is taking place is the presence of one or more faintly pinkish teeth. This condition is called a "pink tooth of Mummery," and it's a sure sign that the affected teeth are compromised. The pink cast comes from the presence of osteoclasts in the damaged areas. The condition is often painless for a long time, which can allow it to worsen, undetected.

Sometimes external trauma to the periodontal ligament or a hidden tooth pressing against the root of the visible tooth will cause the resorption, but most of the time the exact cause that it starts is unknown. Some research indicates that there may be a genetic basis for it when it occurs spontaneously.

Several treatments are possible.

Depending on how early the resorption is detected, and whether or not the cause can be identified, there are several potential treatments. The most conservative approach is to treat the tooth with a full root canal. This will allow your dentist to remove the remaining pulp and flush out the tooth. The cavity can then be treated over a period of time with a calcium hydroxide paste. If the tooth remains mostly intact, the root canal can be covered with a ceramic or porcelain dental cap.

If the condition has progressed to the point where the tooth itself is badly damaged, it might not be possible to save it. A dentist can still try, but you may be faced with the possibility that you'll have to have the tooth removed. Unfortunately, that can be problematic for a lot of people, especially if the tooth involved is one of the front teeth, like an incisor or canine.

Dental implants can save your smile.

If you have to have a tooth extracted, you don't have to sacrifice your smile. Dental implants, followed with an abutment and crown, can replace your natural tooth. The implant itself is a screw-like post, often made of titanium, which takes the place of your tooth's roots. The abutment is the connector that is placed on the implant, and the ceramic or porcelain crown fits over this the same way that a crown fits over a natural tooth. The crown can be made to closely resemble your natural tooth.

It's important to note that the implant, abutment, and crown are fairly expensive‚Äďaveraging about $4250 per tooth. However, the end results are often well worth the expense in the terms of a beautiful smile.

If you're concerned about root resorption may be occurring to some of your teeth, schedule and appointment at a local dental clinic like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.