Descriptive Analysis of Factors Associated with External Cervical Resorption

J Endod. 2017 Oct;43(10):1602-1610. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2017.05.026. Epub 2017 Aug 12.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to perform a descriptive analysis of the occurrence of external cervical resorption (ECR) in relation to the patients' characteristics (sex, age, and tooth type) and the potentially involved predisposing factors.

Methods: This study includes data on 284 patients (337 teeth with evidence of ECR) referred to the University Hospital Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and Endo Rotterdam (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) for diagnosis and treatment from 2010 to 2015. The medical history, existing radiographs, and dental records were available for evaluation. Each patient was then interviewed followed by a thorough clinical and radiographic examination. Intraoral pictures using a dental operating microscope and digital camera were taken during clinical examination. The radiographic examination consisted of digital periapical radiography and/or cone-beam computed tomographic imaging. A review of existing literature provided a potential predisposing factor checklist for ECR. The clinical data were correlated with the dental and medical history of each patient in an attempt to identify some potential predisposing factor(s) that could contribute to ECR. The frequency of the occurrence of ECR was correlated with tooth type, sex and age of the patient, and each 1 of the recorded potential predisposing factor(s).

Results: From the examined teeth (337) with ECR, 175 (54%) were found in male patients and 162 (46%) were found in female patients. In 59% of the cases, more than 1 potential predisposing factor was identified. Most ECR cases were observed on maxillary central incisors (29%) followed by maxillary canines (14%), mandibular molars (14%), and maxillary premolars (11%). In addition, most ECR cases were observed on maxillary teeth (72%). The most frequently appearing factor was orthodontics (45.7%). Other frequently observed factors were trauma (28.5%), parafunctional habits (23.2%), poor oral health (22.9%), malocclusion (17.5%), and extraction of a neighboring tooth (14%).

Conclusions: The data indicate that ECR is not related to patient sex. ECR occurs most often in the maxillary central incisor. In the majority of the cases, more than 1 potential predisposing factor was identified, indicating that ECR may be mainly multifactorial. The most frequently appearing factors were orthodontics, iatrogenic or accidental trauma, and poor oral health. This information may be helpful in diagnosing ECR at an early stage when screening patients presenting with these predisposing factors.

Keywords: Cone-beam computed tomography; external cervical resorption; hypoxia; orthodontics; potential predisposing factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Tooth Cervix / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth Cervix / physiopathology*
  • Tooth Resorption* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tooth Resorption* / etiology
  • Young Adult