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Long-term prognosis of crown-fractured permanent incisors. The effect of stage of root development and associated luxation injury


Agneta Robertson Department of Pedodontics, Faculty of Odontology, Medicinaregatan 12, S-413 90 Götborg, Sweden.


Objectives. The aim of the present study was to investigate pulp healing responses following crown fracture with and without pulp exposure as well as with and without associated luxation injury and in relation to stage of root development.

Patient material and methods. The long-term prognosis was examined for 455 permanent teeth with crown fractures, 352 (246 with associated luxation injury) without pulpal involvement and 103 (69 with associated luxation injury) with pulp exposures. Initial treatment for all patients was provided by on-call oral surgeons at the emergency service, University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), Copenhagen. In fractures without pulpal involvement, dentin was covered by a hard-setting calcium hydroxide cement (Dycal®), marginal enamel acid-etched (phosphoric acid gel), then covered with a temporary crown and bridge material. In the case of pulp exposure, pulp capping or partial pulpotomy was performed. Thereafter treatment was identical to the first group. Patients were then referred to their own dentist for resin composite restoration.

Results. Patients were monitored for normal pulp healing or healing complications for up to 17 years after injury (x = 2·3 years, range 0·2–17·0 years, SD + 2·7). Pulp healing was registered and classified into pulp survival with no radiographic change (PS), pulp canal obliteration (PCO) and pulp necrosis (PN). Healing was related to the following clinical factors: stage of root development at the time of injury, associated damage to the periodontium at time of injury (luxation) and time interval from injury until initial treatment. Crown fractures with or without pulp exposure and no concomitant luxation injury showed PS in 99%, PCO in 1% and PN in 0%. Crown fractures with concomitant luxation showed PS in 70%, PCO in 5% and PN in 25%. An associated damage to the periodontal ligament significantly increased the likelihood of pulp necrosis from 0% to 28% (P < 0·001) in teeth with only enamel and dentin exposure and from 0% to 14% (P < 0·001) in teeth with pulp exposure.

Conclusions. In the case of concomitant luxation injuries, the stage of root development played an important role in the risk of pulp necrosis after crown fracture. However, the primary factor related to pulp healing events after crown fracture appears to be compromised pulp circulation due to concomitant luxation injuries.