Internal resorption is a destructive process that occasionally occurs inside the pulps of vital teeth. It is often discovered by dentists either by viewing radiographs or by their noting a change in color of an anterior tooth. The process involves cells from a vital pulp causing resorption of the dentin adjacent to them.When viewing a radiograph of a tooth under going internal resorption it is often possible to notice a unnatural widening of the pulp canal at a particular location. This process seems to be site specific and does not occur along the entire length of the pulp canal, but only seems to affect part of the tooth.If the process is occurring in the pulp chamber and not the root, some teeth seem to develop a pink color, since the coronal tooth structure becomes thinner and the pulp can become visible.
Although this process is normally painless, it is destructive and can ultimately cause a perforation of a tooth’s root and can compromise the long term prognosis of a tooth.If the resorption is noticed prior to causing a perforation, treatment consists of prophylactically removing the entire pulp of the tooth via traditional endodontic therapy. After a root canal procedure the resorptive process can not continue, since no living cells are left in the pulp to carry out further resorption. Often teeth treated in this manner have the same prognosis as any endodontically treated tooth.