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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: QI
Quintessence International

Edited by Eli Eliav

ISSN 0033-6572 (print) • ISSN 1936-7163 (online)

June 2001
Volume 32 , Issue 6

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Calcific metamorphosis: A challenge in endodontic diagnosis and treatment

Faisal A. Amir, BDS/James L. Gutmann, DDS/D. E. Witherspoon, BDSc, MS

Pages: 447-455
PMID: 11491624

Calcific metamorphosis (CM) is seen commonly in the dental pulp after traumatic tooth injuries and is recognized clinically as early as 3 months after injury. Calcific metamorphosis is characterized by deposition of hard tissue within the root canal space and yellow discoloration of the clinical crown. Opinion differs among practitioners as to whether to treat these cases upon early detection of CM or to observe them until symptoms or radiographic signs of pulpal necrosis are detected. In this review, the clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic appearance of CM is described; a review of the literature is presented to address these issues in an attempt to establish a sound rationale for treatment. Approximately 3.8% to 24% of traumatized teeth develop varying degrees of CM. Studies indicate that of these, approximately 1% to 16% will develop pulpal necrosis. Most of the literature does not support endodontic intervention unless periradicular pathosis is detected or the involved tooth becomes symptomatic. It may be advisable to manage cases demonstrating CM through observation and periodic examination.

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