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In some cases, root canal treatment is required on teeth with incomplete roots.

Potential causes for incomplete root development include an extensive childhood cavity or trauma. Technically, the procedures for immature teeth are referred to as apexification, apexogenesis, and vital pulp therapy.


If a tooth with incomplete root formation suffers from pulp death, the root development cannot be completed. This poses similar difficulties to apexogenesis, which can also make the root canal treatment difficult.

Therefore, the goal of this type of procedure is to induce a calcified barrier across the widely open root end. This is achieved through the stimulation of cells in the bone, leading to the formation of a dentin-like material over the root end.

Apexogenesis and Vital Pulp Therapy

An apexogenesis procedure addresses the complications that arise after a deep decay reaching the nerve, or trauma exposing the nerve. If the tooth’s pulp is still vital, a vital pulp therapy (e.g. pulp capping, pulpotomy) can be performed to encourage continued physiologic development of root ends.

To summarize, the goal of apexogenesis is to preserve healthy pulp tissue in order to allow for continued root development until the root end is mature.

To learn more about treatments for immature teeth, please contact our team at Endodontics on Don Mills.