A 10-year-old girl was referred by her general dental practitioner because of pain and swelling from her maxillary right lateral incisor. The patient described an episode of recent severe throbbing pain over the past 2 days; there was no previous history of any signs or symptoms. The medical history was non-contributory. Clinical examination revealed that there was a swelling buccal to the lateral incisor (Fig. 1). The tooth was caries free but had an enamel projection in the centre of its lingual surface (Fig. 2). The gingival probing depths were within normal limits. The tooth was sensitive to percussion and failed to respond to electric pulp sensitivity testing. The adjacent teeth all responded within normal limits to percussion and sensitivity testing. A periapical radiograph demonstrated a radiolucent lesion in the mesial aspect of the apical third of the right lateral incisor (Fig. 3). A clinical diagnosis was established of dens invaginatus (Oehlers Type 2), necrotic pulp and acute apical abscess. Following isolation of the tooth with a rubber dam, the pulp chamber was opened and the invagination orifice located. When the invagination orifice was enlarged, the primary root canal was discovered in a more lingual position (Fig. 4). A radiograph with files in the root canals was obtained (Fig. 5).
Figure 1. Preoperative view of maxillary lateral incisor showing localized swelling.
Figure 2. Preoperative palatal view of maxillary lateral incisor. Note the large enamel projection.
Figure 3. Preoperative radiograph of maxillary lateral incisor showing dens invaginatus with periapical radiolucency.
Figure 4. Access opening demonstrating two distinct canal orifices.
Figure 5. K-files in both canals.
Figure 6. Radiograph immediately after obturation of primary root canal. No communication with invagination is evident.
Figure 7. Two-year follow-up radiograph of maxillary lateral incisor. Radiograph reveals a reduction in size of the radiolucent area.
The working lengths were established and recorded. The radiograph revealed a region of root resorption, with a lateral root perforation on the mesial surface. The invagination appeared to be calcified. There did not appear to be any communication between the primary root canal and the invagination. The canal system was debrided thoroughly and prepared by the step-back technique to a size 40. Copious irrigation with 2.6% sodium hypochlorite solution was used throughout the procedure. After drying the root canals with paper points, a cotton pellet was placed in the pulp chamber and the tooth was temporarily sealed with Cavit (ESPE, Seefeld, Germany). One week later, the patient returned without symptoms and the swelling had disappeared. The invagination was obturated by lateral condensation of gutta-percha and zinc oxide-eugenol sealer (Canals, Showa Yakuhin, Tokyo, Japan). The primary root canal was dried and filled with calcium hydroxide paste. Cotton wool and Cavit were placed in the access opening. The patient returned after 3 months, and the primary root canal was obturated using an injection-moulded thermoplasticized gutta-percha delivery system (Obtura II, Obtura Corp., Fenton, MO, USA) and zinc oxide-eugenol sealer. A postoperative radiograph was taken (Fig. 6). The patient was recalled periodically and healing was uneventful. The recall radiograph at 2 years showed osseous repair; the patient remained asymptomatic (Fig. 7).