Root amputation refers to a specialized dental procedure that involves the removal of one root from a multi-root tooth. A filling or crown is then used to stabilize the tooth and made to function fully. Molars at the back of the mouth tend to be the multi-root teeth that are best suited to the root amputation procedure. These teeth usually possess two or three roots depending on where they are situated (lower or upper jaw).
The major aim of root amputation is saving a diseased or injured tooth from extraction. Most dentists are of the opinion that preserving a natural and healthy tooth remains the best option, and this is made possible by root amputation procedures custom-made tooth replacements, extensive bridgework, and dental implants can be both time-consuming and expensive. Root amputation and the subsequent crown work are not expensive and can be completed in at most three short visits.
When is root amputation necessary?
You need to understand that root amputation is the only idea option for an otherwise healthy tooth. Even when it comes to a “key” tooth, extraction will be carried out if the tooth is severely fractured or diseased. The best teeth for root amputation are those with a healthy tooth surface, healthy underlying gums, and strong bone support.
Some of the problems that may lead to root amputation include:
- Injured or fractured roots and teeth
- Bacteria are embedded within the structure of the root
- Tooth decay in a concentrated area of the tooth
- Severe loss of bone in a concentrated area due to periodontitis
What does root amputation involve?
It is important to carry out root canal treatment before root amputation. The amputation proper has to do with cutting deep into the tooth to reveal the blood vessels and nerves. This implies that the pulp needs to be removed before the roots are resectioned. The amputation and root canal treatments are usually carried out under local anesthetic.
During the amputation procedure, the dental professional makes an incision on the gum to reveal the roots of the affected teeth. The root is then sectioned from the other teeth before being removed. Saline solution is used to cleanse the area so as to kill any remaining bacteria, and stitches are applied to close the incision.
Finally, a temporary filling or crown is placed to secure the tooth. Anti-microbial mouthwash, antibiotics, and painkillers may be prescribed, depending on the exact situation. The stitches are removed within 7-10 days and the gum is allowed to heal. The permanent filling or crown can now be placed.
For concerns or questions about root amputation, please consult your dentist.