External cervical resorption: a review.

By Patel S, Kanagasingam S, Pitt Ford T

Date: 01/2009
Journal: JOE


  • Etiology:
  • Damage to protective cementum layer below epithelial attachment exposes root surface to osteoclasts, causing resorption
  • Orthodontic treatment (excessive forces), Trauma, Intracoronal bleaching, Surgery, Periodontal therapy, Other factors – bruxism, restorations, developmental defects
  • Pulp tissue plays no role in external cervical resorption etiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Pink spot in cervical region. Base of external cervical resorption defect feels hard (not sticky like caries). Probing causes profuse bleeding Radiographically – presents as an asymmetrical radiolucency with ragged or irregular margins in the cervical region of the tooth
  • Histology
  • Similar to external inflammatory resorption; Consists of granulomatous tissue
  • Predentin and innermost layer of dentin prevent the external cervical resorption lesion from involving the pulp
  • Treatment
  • These include intentional replantation, guided tissue regeneration, treating the external cervical resorption lesion by an internal approach only, and forced orthodontic eruption.
  • Essentially, treatment involves complete removal of the resorptive tissue and restoring the resulting defect with a plastic tooth-colored restoration.

Clinical Significance:

Early recognition of external cervical resorption is important to improve prognosis. Treatment requires complete removal of the resorptive tissue and proper restoration.