Many patients wonder what root amputation is exactly. The way we explain it is by removing one root from a multi-root tooth like molar teeth. The molars are the teeth at the back of the mouth and can have two to three roots depending on where they are located – upper or lower jaw makes a difference.

We perform root amputation in an effort to save an injured or diseased tooth from needing to be extracted. The root amputation can help prevent the tooth from further disease or injury. Our dentists believe that it is important to save an existing tooth when and if ever possible that’s why they employ root amputation dentistry if they can. Not only is it preferable to preserve existing, natural teeth but root amputation can be significantly less expensive than a dental implant, extensive bridgework or custom tooth replacement. This procedure is also less involved and can be completed in 1-3 short visits.

Why Do I Need Root Amputation?

Root amputation is performed when the rest of a tooth is healthy. When even a “key” tooth is badly diseased or badly fractured it must be extracted in order to preserve oral health. The teeth suitable for root amputation must have a healthy surface with existing strength in the bone support with very healthy surrounding gums. Otherwise the root amputation will be ineffective.

Here is a list of the problems that lead to root amputation surgery:

  • A fractured, cracked or injured tooth and/or root
  • A root structure that is bacteria laden
  • A tooth with a concentrated decaying area
  • Periodontitis in a concentrated area of a tooth

What Does Root Amputation Involve?

Typical we perform root canal treatment before doing a root amputation because the amputation means we must cut deep into the tooth where blood vessels or nerves reside. We have to remove the pulp and nerves before doing anything with the root of a tooth. For this reason the whole process may take a couple of visits to complete.

  1. First we make a small incision in the gum to expose the roots
  2. Next we section off the root from the remaining tooth to prepare for removal
  3. We  then will clean the whole area with a saline solution before stitching up the incision
  4. Then, finally, we place a temporary crown or filling on the tooth to secure everything and allow for stability while healing.
  5. After 7-10 days we remove the stitches since the gum will be healed.
  6. A permanent crown or filling will then be placed on the tooth.

We will prescribe various pain killers depending on the specific details of the root amputation. Commonly we prescribe antibiotics, painkillers or a medicated mouthwash.

Questions about Root Amputation? Give us a call to contact us.