Despite the advances in dental restoration, including implants, bridgework and custom tooth replacements, there is no superior alternative to retaining a natural tooth. Root amputation is one way to preserve a damaged tooth, rather than extract it.
Root amputation is a viable option for teeth with multiple roots, specifically the molars. These large, flat teeth have either two or three roots, and if one of those roots becomes injured or infected, amputating it can be the first step toward saving the tooth.
Root canal therapy is necessary to prepare a tooth for root amputation, and a crown or filling will be placed on the tooth after the procedure. The root amputation process for Vero Beach patients can often be completed in one visit to Dr. Smith. The alternative to root amputation is often expensive and time-consuming restorative procedures.
Although teeth selected for root amputation may be threatened by oral decay or injury, they also must be in relatively good shape in order to avoid extraction. That means having a mostly unbroken surface, strong bone support and healthy underlying gums.
Root amputation can be performed to correct:
During root amputation, Dr. Smith will cut deep into the affected tooth, reaching the interior blood vessels and nerves. This is what makes root canal treatment necessary first — the dental pulp, which includes these blood vessels and nerves, must be removed before the root can be worked on.
Both root canal therapy and root amputation are performed under local anesthetic. During root amputation, an incision will be created in the gum, exposing the roots of the affected tooth. The targeted root will be sectioned off from the rest of the tooth and then removed. Saline solution will be used to disinfect the area, and then the incision will be sealed with stitches.
Antibiotics, painkillers and prescription mouthwash may be prescribed as needed.
In 7-10 days, the gums will likely have healed, and the stitches will be removed.