Background: Resorption of maxillary incisor roots because of an impacted canine is a well-recognized phenomenon that occurs in a surprisingly high proportion of patients with impacted canines. In this retrospective study, we studied a sample of patients in whom the resorption was particularly severe.
Methods: The sample consisted of 11 patients (age, 11.8 +/- 1.2 years) with 20 severely resorbed maxillary incisors. The amount of resorption was measured at the outset (T1), when the impacted canine was distanced from the incisor root area (T2), at the completion of the orthodontic treatment (T3), and at a follow-up appointment at least 1 year posttreatment (T4).
Results: A 17.2% increase in the crown/root ratio occurred due to aggressive continued resorption between T1 and T2. The resorption rate reduced to an almost insignificant level, despite continued and often appreciable orthodontic movement of the resorbed teeth from T2 to T3.
Conclusions: Patients with impacted canines should be screened for resorption and the impacted tooth treated as soon as possible. The resorption process can be halted and the affected tooth moved orthodontically without further risk of resorption. In the long term, with early treatment, even severely resorbed teeth do not suffer from increased mobility or discoloration and might not require splinting.