External Cervical Resorption: A Volumetric Analysis on Evolution of Defects over Time

Published:October 31, 2022DOI:



      The aim of this study was to assess the temporal evolution of external cervical resorption (ECR) defects using a volumetric quantification method.


      Cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) images of patients diagnosed with ECR who chose not to receive treatment and attended recalls were collected. ECR defects were segmented in CBCT images at baseline and recall, and their volumes were quantified. The volumetric ratio of resorption defects/teeth was calculated. Three-dimensional classification of defects at baseline and recall and the prevalence of root surface perforations ≥1 mm were determined. The Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank test, chi-square test, and linear regression models were used to analyze the data.


      Fifteen patients with 20 teeth diagnosed with ECR and an average recall time of 21 months were included. Nine (45%) teeth showed a change in 3-dimensional classification at recall. The volume of resorption defects (P = .0001) and the volumetric ratio of resorption defects/teeth (P = .0001) increased over time. The prevalence of root surface perforations ≥1 mm was higher at recall (n = 17, 85%) compared with baseline (n = 9, 45%) (P = .008). Linear regression models showed significant associations between the resorption defect volume at recall compared with baseline (P < .0001; 95% confidence interval, 0.053–0.081) and the volumetric ratio of resorption defects/teeth at recall compared with baseline (P < .0001; 95% confidence interval, 0.205-0.356). There was no association between the volume of resorption defects at recall with the length of the recall period, sex, or age (P > .05).


      When left untreated, ECR defects can increase in size and develop more root surface perforations. ECR has a dynamic nature, and its volumetric increase over time does not result from uniform/linear expansion of the defects.

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