The prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of external cervical resorption: a retrospective practice-based study. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: External cervical root resorption (ECR) is a poorly understood and aggressive form of resorption. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors associated with the occurrence of ECR in patients seeking endodontic care from private practice settings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Records of 343 patients with 390 teeth diagnosed with ECR were identified from 3 private endodontic practices from 2008 to 2022. The patients' demographic information, systemic conditions, and dental history were recorded. The characteristics of the cases including Heithersay classification, pulpal and periapical status, and their management were documented. The association between case severity and potential predisposing factors was examined using chi-square analysis. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of ECR among patients seeking endodontic care was low (<1%). However, there was a greater than twofold increase in the pooled prevalence from 2016 to 2021 (0.99%) compared to the data from 2010 to 2015 (0.46%). The most commonly affected teeth were anterior teeth (48.7%). Class II (30.0%) and class III (45.4%) defects were the most often identified. Patients with a history of trauma or orthodontic treatment were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with severe cervical resorption (class III or IV) (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: There has been an increase in the prevalence of ECR in patients seeking endodontic care. A history of orthodontic treatment and traumatic dental mechanical injuries may predict the severity of resorption. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The upward trend in the occurrence of ECR warrants close monitoring of the patients at high risk of developing the condition to facilitate early detection and management.

published proceedings

  • Clin Oral Investig

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, J., Walsh, R. M., Witherspoon, D. E., Khalighinejad, N., Tam, E. C., Jalali, P., & He, J.

publication date

  • September 2023