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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516


NEL, S et al. Fragmentary tooth root development: biological and forensic dental implications. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2017, vol.72, n.10, pp.466-469. ISSN 0375-1562.

Recent findings indicate that there could be continued root development after the successful surgical removal of an impacted tooth. The paper provides a brief review of normal root development, emphasizing the chain of reciprocal epithelial-ectomesenchymal interactions which regulate all aspects of this process. Mineralized dental structures are not an absolute requirement for tooth root development, but residual fragments of Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS), together with the associated ectomesenchymal cells, will enable continued growth. The findings presented in this paper have significant implications in forensic odontology, dental litigation and for routine and elective tooth extractions.

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