Can Short Roots Last a Long Time? A Reply from the Sacramento Dentistry Group

The roots of teeth can be shorter than average due to genetics, trauma, surgery or the reabsorption of the tooth by the body. Whatever the cause, many with this problem wonder how long their teeth might last. Are there complications involved?

​Teeth with short roots are a known genetic abnormality. Trauma, oral surgery or tooth resorption may also cause shortened roots. A patient of the Sacramento Dentistry Group recently asked if teeth with short roots can last as long as normal teeth. Although there is one significant complication associated with short-rooted teeth, there is also good news for people with this oral condition.

The Negatives with Short Roots

Roots serve an important purpose for the teeth, anchoring them to the underlying jawbone. If a root is short, the tooth’s connection to the bone is less secure. As a result, teeth with short roots are known to move more easily along the jaw. This can lead to misaligned teeth.

While the answer to this problem may seem to be orthodontic treatment, the careful dentist is cautious when straightening teeth with short roots. That is because shorter roots are more likely to suffer resorption during an orthodontic procedure. Regular x-rays are necessary if a patient with short roots is wearing braces or using Invisalign, chiefly to guarantee that no tooth resorption is taking place. Therefore, short root teeth are more likely to be misaligned and they are more likely to be damaged by the very orthodontics correcting the misalignment.

The Good News About Short Roots

Outside of this difficulty, however, short roots do not present a significant difference as far as functionality or longevity. In general, the size of the crown (the part of the tooth seen above the jaw) is the same whether a root is short or long, so the tooth works just as well. If patients take good care of their teeth with regular oral hygiene and dental exams, there is no reason why they cannot keep their short roots for a lifetime.

For more information about this topic or other dental subjects, the website of the Sacramento Dentistry Group contains significant amounts of information on dentistry, dental treatments and the teeth. The website is available at

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group