Removal of Damaged Roots or to Treat Some Types of Bone Loss When a Tooth is Still Worth Retaining.
If bone loss occurs between the roots of a tooth creating what is called a furcation involvement, or if a crack or split occurs in one of the roots of a multirooted tooth, a root amputation might allow the tooth to be retained. The procedure requires that a root canal be completed on the tooth usually prior to the procedure, and while the procedure can increase the lifespan of the tooth, it also removes some of the support for the tooth. The effect of this lost support must be weighed against the probability of increasing the lifespan of the tooth and the costs associated with the needed procedures to determine if a root amputation is truly indicated. The procedure involves pulling the gums back gently around the involved tooth and separating the damaged root from the tooth so it can be removed. The underside of the tooth is then shaped to allow access for cleaning and the gums are replaced. Bone is allowed to grow where the root was removed and for all practical purposes the tooth appears normal.