Root Amputation

In multi-rooted teeth, it is sometimes possible to remove one of the roots in order to retain the rest of the tooth.  This can only be done in teeth which have had root canal therapy, and in which the remaining roots have enough support to maintain the tooth in normal function. This procedure is generally recommended only when one root is either cracked or otherwise untreatable, while the remaining roots are strong and healthy.  This procedure is especially of value in areas where placement of an implant would be difficult.  It also can be a very cost effective alternative to the overall cost of extraction, implant and new crown.  While the loss of a root would certainly reduce the amount of bone support,  many years of adequate function can be reasonably expected from the remaining roots.  The amputation of a root may or may not require a surgical procedure, depending on the existing restoration.  When a crown is already in place, surgery is the best option, to avoid having to remove the crown.  In this regard, it is the most conservative form of treatment possible.