What is Root Amputation?

Root amputation is a procedure that is aimed at saving a tooth from extraction when only one of the roots of a multi-rooted tooth is infected. In this way, the remaining roots provide sufficient support and stability to the tooth in its socket and prevent it from becoming mobile. 

Teeth most suited for a root amputation procedure are the back teeth – the molars, that have multiple roots. 

During the root amputation procedure, your dentist will surgically remove the one tooth root while preserving the crown portion. This is also a measure to stop the transmission of infection that originates from the tooth root or the tissues that support the teeth inside their sockets.

 What Happens During a Root Amputation Procedure?

Your dentist or periodontist will begin the procedure by administering local anesthesia. Next, he or she will make an incision over the soft tissues to expose the root surface. Your dentist will then remove the damaged root, followed by a thorough cleansing of the area. In some cases, dentists also irrigate the region with an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria and discourage re-infection. 

Once the procedure is complete, your dentist will suture the gums back to their position. After the procedure, your dentist will place a temporary filling or a crown over the tooth to stabilize it. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to shorten the healing time. 

Root amputation is an excellent procedure to avoid extracting a tooth where the infection is limited to the root region. Not only your natural tooth is preserved, but it will also save a lot you of time and money that would have otherwise been spent in getting a suitable replacement if the tooth was extracted.