Root Amputation

What is a root amputation?

A root amputation involves removing the infected apex of the root. In a root amputation, the damaged root is removed from the tooth, but anaerobic bacteria can continue to live in the tooth and cause foci of disease. With an emphasis on minimally-invasive procedures, we prefer extracting infected teeth and cavitating the remaining socket to remove all traces of bacteria.

Why do patients need root amputation?

Some reasons for root amputation include:

  • Injured, fractured, or broken teeth
  • Damaged roots
  • Bacteria present in the tooth root
  • Concentrated tooth decay in one area of a tooth

What are the benefits of a root amputation?

As with other endodontic procedures, root amputation saves teeth from extraction.  An extracted tooth must be replaced with a dental implant, bridgework, or a partial denture.  While these replacements are durable and prevent remaining teeth from drifting and other oral health complications, they are not as strong as a natural tooth. Root amputations have a poor success record and should be avoided.

Are there holistic alternatives to root amputation?

Before proceeding with a root amputation, Dr. Gross must evaluate the tooth for candidacy. Healthy gum tissue, the degree and length of infection, and sufficient jawbone tissue are essential in making a diagnosis. The best alternative is to get a second opinion before proceeding with root canal.

What can Holistic Dentists do to keep me comfortable during this procedure?

Most patients do not require more than a local anesthetic for a root amputation, but some apprehensive patients may need something more to relax. To relieve stress and anxiety, we offer nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas. Nitrous oxide gives patients a warm and relaxed sensation only when it is administered, and its effects wear off within five minutes of removing the breathing apparatus so that the patient suffers no aftereffects and is able to drive home.  If you have questions about other forms of sedation or ways to relax for your root amputation procedure, Dr. Gross can explain options that will make your appointment more comfortable.