Killiany DM. Root resorption caused by orthodontic treatment: an evidence-based review of literature. Semin Orthod. 1999; 5:128-133
Weltman B, Vig KW, Fields HW Root resorption associated with orthodontic tooth movement: a systematic review. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2010; 137:462-476
Ottolengui R. The physiological and pathological resorption of tooth roots. Dent Items Interes. 1914; 36
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Root resorption: why we all need to get informed consent

From Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2023 | Pages 20-25


Fatemeh Roshanray

5th BDS

University of Sheffield

Articles by Fatemeh Roshanray

Email Fatemeh Roshanray

Cara Sandler

BDS, MFDS, PG Cert, Orthodontic Registrar ST1

DCT1, Maxillofacial Surgery, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK

Articles by Cara Sandler

Email Cara Sandler


Severe root resorption is a rare, but serious, complication of orthodontic treatment, which can affect the long-term prognosis of the teeth affected. This case presents a young, healthy patient with severe root resorption affecting nearly all of her dentition. It was an incidental finding by her GDP 8 months after completion of her orthodontic treatment. The article aims to raise awareness about the importance of obtaining a valid consent at the start of each orthodontic treatment, and highlight the possible risk factors associated with severe root resorption, diagnostic methods, and interventions to prevent or manage it when it occurs.

CPD/Clinical Relevance: Although developing severe root resorption as a result of orthodontic treatment is relatively uncommon, the consequences are serious. This article highlights the importance of identifying high-risk orthodontic patients, where possible, and obtaining valid, informed consent prior to every course of orthodontic treatment.


Orthodontically induced inflammatory root resorption (OIIRR) is a term used to describe the iatrogenic damage caused to the roots of teeth as a result of orthodontic treatment, leading to root shortening. It is also known as external apical root resorption (EARR).1,2 Root resorption (RR) was first attributed to orthodontics by Ottolengui in 1914.3 Orthodontics uses the body's own natural inflammatory process to allow movement of the dentition into the desired position. OIIRR occurs when osteoclastic activity exceeds the reparative capacity of the root cementum.4,5 Orthodontically induced EARR (OIEARR)6,7 is associated with both patient-related factors, such as gender, age, genetics, medical history, abnormal root morphology, previously root-filled or traumatized teeth, and also several treatment-related risk factors, such as magnitude, direction and duration of orthodontic forces and types of appliances used.2,5,8,9

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