What is root resorption?

Patients may wonder about the risk of getting root damage from braces. Before we dive in, we want you to know that you don’t have to fear root damage from Invisalign® or braces. Most patients will experience insignificant root damage, also known as root resorption, but this is normal!

Here’s what you need to know about braces and root resorption:

Root resorption is the shortening of the tooth’s root. It’s a normal process that occurs when the body eliminates the root’s surface. In fact, this is how your baby teeth fall out!

A minimal amount of root resorption can occur with people who undergo treatment with braces. As with everything in life, there’s always a risk for complications. However, complications associated with root resorption are few and far between.

How to Minimize Root Resorption

Choosing an experienced and reputable orthodontist is the first step to minimize complications due to root resorption. Dr. Caudill and Dr. McNeight are highly-trained in identifying problematic conditions and will thoroughly pre-screen all patients to make sure there is no current or significant damage to the roots. This pre-screening process is completed during your first visit to our office, when your orthodontist takes diagnostic photos and x-rays of your smile.

After photos and x-rays have been taken, your orthodontist will create your personalized treatment plan. We will present the best treatment options for your condition. For some patients who may be at risk of root resorption, Invisalign may be a good alternative to metal braces, as some research has shown that Invisalign patients have less root resorption than traditional braces!

Throughout the course of your treatment, we’ll continue to monitor your orthodontic health to assess any damage. We want what’s best for your smile! We do everything we can to minimize complications, and we’ll continue to make adjustments to your treatment plan as necessary.

Root Resorption Symptoms

It is typically not possible to tell if you have root resorption from orthodontic treatment without dental x-rays. In most cases, it is a symptomless process. In rare cases, unmonitored orthodontic treatment can cause extensive orthodontic root resorption that can result in loosening, mobility and loss of teeth. Your orthodontic treatment at Caudill and McNeight Orthodontics will periodically include progress x-rays to monitor for root resorption. In the rare case root resorption does occur treatment modifications may be recommended to minimize any resorptive damage.

Early detection is key to avoiding serious damage. That’s why it’s important that you don’t skip your orthodontist appointments or your regular dental cleanings!

What can you do to minimize root resorption?

Patients can do their part to avoid root damage from braces. It starts by remaining patient with the length of your treatment. Moving teeth into place is a process that takes time and cannot be rushed—but we promise the end result is worth the wait!

It’s also important not to skip orthodontic or dental appointments. Not only does skipping appointments delay your treatment, it can also delay preventive visits that may be critical for intervening with the progression of this condition.

Maintaining proper dental hygiene while wearing braces is essential for minimizing complications from root resorption! Don’t forget to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once per day.

Overall, don’t worry about root damage from braces. Do your part to keep your teeth clean and be aware of any symptoms. Serious damage from root resorption is uncommon. By choosing an experienced orthodontist who can properly pre-screen, plan your treatment, and choose the right appliances, you can rest assured that you’ll experience the best possible outcome for your treatment!


Still have questions about root resorption?

If you have any further questions about root resorption, or what we can do to mitigate complications, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Or if you’re seeking an experienced orthodontist near you in Melbourne, Merritt Island or Viera, we want to meet you!

Let’s get started with your complimentary consultation.