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Apical root resorption in upper anterior teeth

Brita Ohm Linge, Leif Linge
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/5.3.173 173-183 First published online: 1 August 1983


The incidence and extent of apical root resorption in maxillary incisors were studied radiographically in 719 consecutively treated orthodontic patients. Mean age at start of treatment was 12.8 years and mean observation time 3.6 years in both sexes. Root lengths were measured to the nearest 1/10 mm on standardized intra-oral radiographs taken before and after treatment. Mean root shortening for the four incisors were 0.73 mm and 0.67 mm for girls and boys respectively. When using the most severe single root resorption per patient as a parameter the mean was 1.34 mm for both sexes.

A statistical search for clinical risk factors in apical root resorption indicated that patients starting treatment after 11 years of age experienced significantly more root resorption than patients starting earlier, even when taking residual root growth into account. Highly significant risk factors were: previous trauma, the correction of impacted maxillary canines, the use of rectangular archwires and Class II elastics. Fixed appliances caused significantly more apical root resorption than removable appliances.

Sex, overbite, overjet and the length of time with bands on the teeth were not closely related to the amount of apical root resorption.

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