Dental Ankylosis

The ankylosis of the tooth is defined as the bonding / fusion between a tooth and the alveolar bone. This means that the periodontal ligament is obliterated in one or more locations. There is contact between the cement of a tooth and the alveolar bone. Dental ankylosis is an alteration that is characterized by the fusion of a tooth with the alveolar bone that surrounds it, preventing its dental movement and its development. In this article we will explain everything about this alteration or pathology, how to detect and how to treat it correctly.

What is dental ankylosis?

The dentoalveolar ankylosis is a disturbance or eruption anomaly involving binding or fusion with bone cement or dental dentin. It originates an obliteration of the dental periodontal ligament and loss of continuity. This will also prevent the tooth from having mobility within its position. In some cases, a re-absorption of cement and dentin can be observed, which are replaced by bone tissue. This alteration can occur at the time of the tooth rash or when the tooth is already erupted.

Dental ankylosis can affect vertical dental development and the development of alveolar bone. There is a higher prevalence of ankylosis in the milk or temporary dentition than in the permanent dentition. Ankylosis is more common in baby teeth, particularly in primary molars.

How is dental ankylosis diagnosed?

In an orthopantomography or periapical radiography, the loss or absence of periodontal ligament space can be observed. Dental roots can be seen more radiopaque and it will be difficult to differentiate the border with the alveolar bone that surrounds them. From the infra-occlusion observed, the severity of the ankylosed tooth can be classified. The term infra-occlusion is used to describe this situation. The amount of under-occlusion of an ankylosed tooth depends on the amount in which the ankylosis occurred.

What are the clinical implications?

  • When ankylosis originates early, it tends to have a greater impact on occlusion of temporary or milk teeth.
  • With the passage of time the infra-occlusion of the affected tooth may increase.
  • The longer the dental part in infra-occlusion, the more inclination and poor position the adjacent teeth may present.
  • The antagonistic tooth may be extruded over time.
  • The dental mal-position that can be caused by ankylosis can increase the risk of suffering from cavities, periodontitis or periodontal disease due to the difficulty in maintaining proper oral-dental hygiene.

Therefore, it is important that children and adults make periodic visit to the dental clinic.