The aim of this investigation was to study the reparative potential of orthodontically induced root resorption. Sixty-four maxillary right and left first premolars in 32 patients (15 boys and 17 girls, mean age 13.7 years) were moved buccally with fixed orthodontic appliances and a continuous force of 50 cN (≈50 g), activated weekly for 6 weeks. The patients were divided into 4 groups of 8. Retention periods varied from 1 week to 8 weeks. Histological preparations showed that root resorption affected all the test teeth. The percentage of resorptive areas that had begun to repair ranged from 28% after 1 week of retention to 75% after 8 weeks. The healing cementum was almost exclusively of the cellular type. Partial repair, with the resorption cavity walls only partially covered with cementum, was the most frequent type of repair during the first 4 weeks of retention (17% to 31%). Functional repair, with the total surface of the resorption cavity walls covered with varying thicknesses of cementum, dominated after 5, 6, 7 and 8 weeks of retention (33% to 40%). There were no large differences in the healing potential in the cervical, middle, and apical thirds of the root. After 8 weeks, three out of four resorptive areas showed some degree of repair. Individual variations in healing potential were large.

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Author notes

Py Owman-Moll, DDS, Odont Dr, Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Odontology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden

Jüri Kurol, DDS, Odont Dr, Department of Orthodontics, Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden

Dan Lundgren DDS, Odont Dr, Department of Periodontology, Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden