The prevalence of traumatic injuries to the teeth and their supporting structures is significant. Causes include sports injuries, falls and automobile accidents. Most injuries occur in children between the ages of 8 and 15 years; the anterior teeth are affected most frequently. In addition to the teeth, the periodontal tissues, gingiva, alveolar bone and pulp are often adversely affected. Healing depends on the stage of root development (open or closed apex), the extent of damage to periodontal tissues and the effects of bacterial contamination from the oral cavity. Since complications may occur after injury, dental trauma requires longterm follow-up. One of the most frequent complications of dentoalveolar trauma is root resorption.

Soares et al from the State University of Campinas, Brazil, evaluated the frequency of root resorption in cases of dental trauma involving the supporting tissues. From the files of patients who were treated for dental trauma between April 2010 and June 2012, 249 traumatized teeth from 125 patients (age range, 7-51 years) were identified. Patient data analyzed included sex and age, the type of tooth injured, the type of trauma and the length of time from dental injury to initial examination (Table 1).

Radiographic parameters pertaining to root resorption included the presence of external and/0r internal inflammatory root resorption, replacement resorption, and canal calcification. Analyses included the X2 test and Fisher’s exact test, followed by a linear logistic regression analysis. Results revealed that 84.9% of the pathological resorption was represented by external inflammatory root resorption and was present more frequently in cases

of intrusive luxation. A higher frequency of external inflammatory resorption (70%) than replacement resorption (30%) was also evident (Figure 1).


This study concluded that root resorption is observed more frequently and its risk of development is higher in cases of severe trauma, especially avulsion and luxation.

Soares AJ, Souza GA, Perei’ra AC, et a1. Frequency of root resorption following trauma to permanent teeth. J Oral Sci 2015;57:73-78.


Figure 1Figure 1. (Left) Periapical radiograph of tooth with external inflammatory root resorption showing radiolucent areas on the root and the alveolar bone. (Right) Periapical radiograph of tooth #8 with replacement resorption. The periodontal ligament space is not visible, and the root has been partially resorbed. (Images courtesy of Dr. Frederic Barnett.)