It is difficult to determine if root resorption is caused by orthodontic treatment without dental x-rays. In most cases, it is an asymptomatic process. However, uncontrolled orthodontic treatment can cause extensive orthodontic root resorption, which can lead to loosening, mobility, and loss of teeth. At Caudill and McNeight Orthodontics, x-rays are taken periodically to monitor root resorption.
In the rare case of root resorption, treatment modifications may be recommended to minimize any damage. Can Invisalign cause orthodontic-induced inflammatory root resorption (OIIRR)? Since the OIIRR was first described in the literature, orthodontists have been searching for a treatment procedure that does not involve shortening of the roots. In the past decade, Invisalign has become increasingly popular and there is no evidence of OIIRR after this treatment. However, a case report demonstrates that OIIRR can occur with Invisalign treatment.
Periapical, panoramic and cephalometric x-rays showed shortening of the root of the four upper incisors. This type of damage can result in the loss of sufficient gum and support for the teeth and require extensive orthodontic procedures, such as root canals. Patients with Invisalign should do everything possible to avoid this type of damage. A longitudinal study of 100 consecutive patients with Invisalign showed no measurable root resorption.
We know that traumatized teeth can have external root resorption without any orthodontic treatment and traumatized teeth moved by orthodontics with previous root resorption are more sensitive to greater loss of root material. Even with Invisalign, forced application initiates cellular processes that can cause root resorption. The truth is that yes, Invisalign can kill some nerves in the teeth and has the potential to damage the roots. To minimize this risk, it is important to follow your orthodontist's instructions carefully and attend regular check-ups.