Tooth Hemisection

Tooth hemisection, also known as root amputation, is a dental procedure in which a tooth is surgically divided into two sections. It is typically performed when a multi-rooted tooth, such as a molar, has extensive damage or infection in one root, while the other root remains healthy and functional.

During the procedure, the damaged or infected root is carefully removed, along with any surrounding diseased tissue. The remaining healthy root is then retained, and the tooth is reshaped to ensure proper fit and function. In some cases, a crown or a dental bridge may be placed over the reshaped tooth to restore its appearance and provide additional support.

Tooth hemisection is usually considered when other treatment options, such as root canal therapy or periodontal treatment, are not feasible or effective in addressing the specific problem. It aims to preserve the healthy portion of the tooth, allowing for continued use and function while eliminating the source of infection or damage.

It's important to note that tooth hemisection is a specialized procedure that requires the expertise of an experienced dental professional, such as an oral surgeon or an endodontist. They will evaluate the specific condition of the tooth and determine if tooth hemisection is a suitable treatment option. 

Why might I need a tooth hemisection?

Tooth hemisection, or root amputation, may be performed for several reasons, including:

  1. Severe infection or decay: When a tooth with multiple roots develops extensive infection or decay in one root, it may be necessary to remove the affected root to prevent the spread of infection and preserve the remaining healthy portion of the tooth.

  2. Periodontal disease: In cases of advanced periodontal disease, where the supporting structures of the tooth, such as the gums and bone, are affected, tooth hemisection may be considered. If the disease is localized to one root, removing that root can help preserve the stability and function of the remaining healthy root.

  3. Fractured root: If one of the roots of a multi-rooted tooth becomes fractured, causing pain or compromising the tooth's overall stability, tooth hemisection may be performed to remove the affected root and retain the functional portion of the tooth.

  4. Failed root canal treatment: In cases where a root canal-treated tooth continues to have persistent infection or discomfort due to inadequate root canal therapy, tooth hemisection may be an option to address the problem by removing the problematic root.

By performing tooth hemisection, the goal is to preserve the remaining healthy root and tooth structure, maintain function and stability, and prevent the need for complete tooth extraction. It is important to consult with a dental professional to determine the best treatment approach for the specific dental condition and to discuss the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes of tooth hemisection.

How is a tooth hemisection performed?

Tooth hemisection is performed through a surgical procedure involving the following steps:

  1. Evaluation and planning: Assessing the tooth's condition and determining the suitability of tooth hemisection.
  2. Anesthesia: Administering local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth.
  3. Access: Making an incision in the gum tissue to reach the roots of the tooth.
  4. Separation: Carefully removing the affected root while preserving the healthy root or roots.
  5. Reshaping: Shaping the remaining tooth structure for proper fit and alignment.
  6. Closure and healing: Suturing the gum tissue and providing post-operative care instructions.
  7. The procedure is performed by a dental specialist and may involve variations depending on the specific case and technique used.

If you have any questions or concerns about hemisections, please contact your dentist.

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