Why CBCT when suspecting external root resorption with impacted third molars?

On many occasions, when patients present to our office for extraction of third molars as adults, a CBCT is recommended in preparation for surgery.  Some patient may even go as far as question “the need” to obtain a CBCT.  There is more and more recent research backing up the need for CBCT imaging, as they aid in earlier detection of disease and damage that may be occurring in the oral cavity.

In a recent article in the JOMS (J Oral Maxillofac Surg) Aug 2014, a group of researchers compared the efficacy of the traditional panoramic x-ray versus newer imaging of CBCT for the assessment of external root resorption of second molars associated with impacted third molars.  They found that a significantly greater number of cases of external root resorption was diagnosed using a CBCT images than using the old panoramic x-rays.

They also found that Mandibular third molars impacted in the mesioangular and horizontal position were more likely to cause resorption of the adjacent teeth.

For more information on this article: Oenning et al. Root Resorption Caused by Third Molar Impaction. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2014.