We find and treat root resorption lesions frequently. Unlike caries, the patient doesn’t
present with thermal or sweet sensitivity. These are asymptomatic, other than (rarely)
bleeding when patients perform home care. Careful assessment of the gingival architecture
is what usually leads to early detection. We are always on the lookout for an isolated area of
erythematous tissue that is also frequently slightly hyperplastic in appearance and bleeds
easily on provocation. In our experience, these occur almost exclusively in patients who show
signs of gastric juices entering the oral cavity. When we catch these early, we have good
success with removing the invaginated soft tissue and restoring with resin.
We previously used glass ionomer as a restorative material for these lesions; however, we
found glass ionomer to wash out over time, necessitating replacement. With these always
being in difficult locations to both access and isolate, it is not something you want to have to
treat more than once! Also, in my experience, glass ionomer does not give the same smooth
surface texture as resin and the tissues remain more inflamed around the GI restorations.
There are new 2021 ADA CDT codes for surgical repair of root resorption lesions, depending
on anterior, premolar or molar. They are D3471, D3472 or D3473, respectively.