Continuing Education: Transplanting Molars by Dr. Judy McIntyre

Dentaltown Magazine

Autotransplantation of two third molars to first-molar sites, with a 13-year follow-up

by Dr. Judy McIntyre

Course description
Tooth autotransplantation involves the extraction and replacement of a donor tooth from its original position and its replantation to a recipient site.  Autotransplantation can be a suitable treatment option, particularly in younger patients, after careful clinical and radiographic examination and proper treatment planning.   

For patients in whom a tooth is congenitally missing or lost to caries or trauma and when an appropriate donor tooth is available to fill the space, autotransplantation can be a predictable procedure that has been employed worldwide for more than 50 years with great success. Autotransplantation relocates one’s own tooth from its original position to another site.  This recipient tooth site could have a tooth treatment-planned for extraction or may be a recent extraction site, or could be an edentulous site, or the site of a congenitally missing tooth.  
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of autotransplantation (AT); its treatment planning; a detailed sequence of the clinical procedure; and the criteria for the procedure’s success both pre- and postoperatively. With this information, clinicians should be able to add a successful treatment option for unrestorable or missing teeth, particularly in growing (pediatric and adolescent) patients who do not yet have the option for implant placement.

Educational Objectives
1. Appropriately identify and treatment-plan potential autotransplantation cases.
2. Successfully sequence and perform autotransplantations with predictable success.
3. Educate other dental care providers and patients about this alternative treatment option.
4. Add a successful treatment option for unrestorable or missing teeth, particularly in patients who do not have the option for implant placement. 

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Author Bio

Dr. Judy McIntyre obtained her DMD from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where she performed research on dental unit waterline biofilms in conjunction with UCLA. She then completed her endodontic residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alongside renowned researchers in the field of endodontics, traumatology and pediatric dentistry, her research regarding traumatic dental injuries has been published in numerous professional journals. McIntyre loves teaching and sharing her passion of trauma and endodontics with other dentists. Especially among pediatric patients, she employs unconventional treatment modalities from her training to do whatever she can, when possible, to save a tooth. Follow her on Instagram @drjudyendo. Contact:



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