Internal Resorption

The X-Ray shown here is of a 12 year old boy’s teeth. You can see his first molar with two roots on the right side of the pic. In the middle is tooth #20 a single rooted bicuspid. However, an untrained eye might see two roots. That’s because the single root has yet to fuse at the bottom giving it the appearance of two roots.

Periapical X-Ray of Tooth #20. 12 year old boy March 2015

Periapical X-Ray of Tooth #20. 12 year old boy March 2015

There are several neat things about this X-ray. If you look closely you can see a ghost like image above the tooth in the middle. That is actually his baby tooth that was still hanging on quite strongly with just gum tissue. Had we not taken the X-ray there would have been no sign of the adult tooth underneath.

However, the really odd thing is the dark circle inside the tooth about 1/3 of the way down the photo. I feel for this kid because it looks as if the new adult tooth has decay before it has even come into his mouth. What has happened is the tooth has internal resorption. It’s a mysterious process in which the body starts to destroy the tooth from the inside. You can check it out more with this Wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_resorption . It’s quite rare; I’ve seen it personally maybe 3-4 times in 26 years. This kid got to be the unlucky one, and got it in a tooth that hasn’t even fully formed yet.

Dr. Urban made the patient numb to extract that baby tooth that was in the way. Once he did he found the adult tooth to be decay free on the outside. Once again without an X-ray we wouldn’t have guessed anything was wrong. So there was nothing we could do for him except send him to an endodontist. Endodontists do root canal therapy. But since this root isn’t fully formed yet I have no idea what the endodontist will do. The tooth might just not be salvageable.

If you’d like to discuss this or any dental issues please give us a call 703-532-1712 FallsChurchSmiles.com

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