Objective: To document the long-term fate of maxillary incisors with resorbed roots after correction of the associated ectopic canines.
Materials and methods: The subjects were recruited from 107 children and adolescents age 9-15 years (mean 12.5 years) at initial registration, with 156 ectopically positioned maxillary canines. The children were referred to the specialist orthodontic clinic for consultation because of the risk of incisor root resorption. Of 51 patients contacted, 16 failed to attend. Eight of the remaining 35 were excluded because their lateral incisors had been extracted, leaving 27 subjects for follow-up registration. At initial consultation, all subjects had undergone radiographic examination, including computed tomography (CT) scans. At the follow-up consultation, the radiographic examination was limited to intraoral films.
Results: No resorbed incisor was lost during the 2- to 10-year follow-up period. The resorptive lesions had undergone repair in 13 teeth, remained unchanged in 12 teeth and progressed in 7 teeth. In the 13 teeth exhibiting signs of repair, no resorption was detectable in 11 teeth and minor resorption was detected in 2 lateral incisors. At the initial registration, severe or moderate resorption had been diagnosed in 12 lateral and 5 central incisors, compared with 11 lateral and 6 central incisors at follow-up. In 10 subjects initially diagnosed with resorption of 13 incisors, the lesions were no longer discernible on intraoral radiographs at follow-up.
Conclusions: Even in cases of severe resorption, the incisor roots show good long-term healing. Incisors with root resorption can be used in an orthodontic appliance system.