|Classification and external resources|
Tooth ankylosis refers to a fusion (ankylosis) of teeth to bone. The condition is diagnosed with radiographs (X-rays), which show loss of the periodontal ligament space and blending of the root with the bone. Clinically the tooth sounds solid when percussed (tapped) compared to the dull, cushioned sound from normal teeth. Ankylosis of teeth is uncommon, more so in deciduous teeth than permanent teeth.
Deciduous (baby) teeth
Ankylosis of deciduous teeth ("submerged teeth") may rarely occur. The most commonly affected tooth is the mandibular (lower) second deciduous molar. Partial root resorption first occurs and then the tooth fuses to the bone. This prevents normal exfoliation of the deciduous tooth and typically causes impaction of the permanent successor tooth. As growth of the alveolar bone continues and the adjacent permanent teeth erupt, the ankylosed deciduous tooth appears to submerge into the bone, although in reality it has not changed position. Treatment is by extraction of the involved tooth, to prevent malocclusion, periodontal disturbance or dental caries.
Permanent (adult) teeth
Repair with cementum or dentin occurs after partial root resorption, fusing the tooth with the bone. It may occur following dental trauma, especially occlusal trauma, or after periapical periodontitis caused by pulp necrosis. Ankylosis itself is not a reason to remove a permanent tooth, however teeth which must be removed for other reasons are made significantly more difficult to remove if they are ankylosed.