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Dr. Kenneth Klonsky
Oral Surgery/Implants/Periodontist

Root Amputation

Root amputation is a specialized dental procedure, whereby one root is removed from a multi-root tooth. The tooth is then stabilized and rendered fully functional with a crown or filling. The multi-root teeth best suited to the root amputation procedure are the molars at the back of the mouth. These large flat teeth have either two or three roots depending on whether they are situated on the upper or lower jaw.

The general purpose of root amputation is to save an injured or diseased tooth from extraction. I believe that there is no better alternative than retaining a healthy natural tooth, and the root amputation procedure makes this possible. Generally, root amputation and the necessary crown work can be completed in 1-3 short visits.

When is root amputation necessary?

It is important to note that root amputation can only be performed on an otherwise healthy tooth. Even in the case of a “key” tooth, extraction will be performed if the tooth is diseased, badly fractured, or otherwise injured. Suitable teeth for root amputation have a healthy tooth surface, strong bone support, and healthy underlying gums.

There are several problems that may lead to root amputation including:

  • Broken, fractured or injured teeth and roots.

  • Embedded bacteria within the structure of the root.

  • Severe bone loss in a concentrated area due to periodontitis.

  • Tooth decay in a concentrated area of the tooth.

What does root amputation involve?

During the root amputation procedure, a small incision will be created in the gum to fully expose the roots of the affected tooth. The root will be sectioned off from the rest of the tooth and then removed. To kill any remaining bacteria, the whole area will be cleansed with saline solution, and then sutures (stitches) will be applied to seal the incision.

Depending on the specific situation, painkillers, antibiotics and a medicated antimicrobial mouthwash may be prescribed. In 7-10 days, the stitches will be removed and the gum will have healed. 

Dr. Klonsky would be happy to help to answer any questions or concerns about root amputation. Feel free to call us at (212)-726-0917 or email us at frontdesk@drklonsky.com.

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