Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of micro-osteoperforations (MOPs) on external apical root resorption (EARR) during the initial orthodontic alignment phase of maxillary anterior crowding.
Methods: Thirty patients (25 females, 5 males; mean age, 22.66 ± 3.27 years) who presented with moderate crowding of the upper labial segment and underwent extraction-based fixed appliance treatment were recruited. They were randomly allocated to receive adjunctive therapy with MOPs (n = 15) or treatment with fixed appliances only (control group; n = 15). EARR was measured from long-cone periapical radiographs taken at the start and the sixth month of treatment. A correction factor for the enlargement difference was used to calculate EARR. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Results: The mean root lengths of 168 teeth were measured and showed no statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) after six months of fixed appliance treatment in the MOP (mean difference [MD] = 0.13 mm; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.10-0.35) and control group (MD = 0.14 mm; 95% CI = -0.10-0.37). Most of the roots in the MOP and control groups (42.86% and 52.38%, respectively) showed only mild resorption. Less than 8% of the roots in both groups (7.14% in the MOP group and 4.76% in the control group) showed moderate resorption.
Conclusions: Acceleration of orthodontic tooth movement with adjunctive MOPs therapy during the alignment phase does not exacerbate EARR in patients with moderate crowding of the upper labial segment in comparison with controls.
Keywords: External apical root resorption; Iatrogenic effect; Micro-osteoperforations; Orthodontic alignment.