Hemisection / Root Amputation

When you are told that you need an endodontic procedure, you instantly think of the dreaded root canal, don't you? If so, you would not be the only one who does. But, did you know that there are other common endodontic procedures besides the root canal? These procedures can be done at an endodontist's office, or they can often be performed by your family general dentist. Some other endodontic procedures include dental hemisection and a root amputation.


Dental hemisections are a specialized procedure where half of an injured tooth is removed, allowing the other half to stay as an active part of the patient's mouth. These procedures are done only on molars (back teeth) because they are larger in size and offer a flat base to work with. (Front teeth are not eligible for a hemisection because they are so small and there won't be enough tooth structure left after the procedure.)

Why would you need or want to get a dental hemisection you may ask yourself. A hemisection is often performed in situations when there is an injury, or trauma to a tooth. This can include:

Hemisections are becoming less common as technology in the dental field advances and root canals are even more successful. In order to determine if you are in need of a hemisection your doctor will examine your tooth and take xrays to first determine the cause of the problem. Then, the tooth is split through the gum through the gum to the root. If the tooth has a saveable root, the bad one is removed, leaving the healthy one. This tooth will then need to be followed up with a more secure such as a dental crown.

Root Amputation:

A dental root amputation is similar to a hemisection with some slight differences. A dental root amputation is often caused by:

The overall purpose of a root amputation is to save an injured tooth from needing to be extracted. The procedure starts with a root canal, which is then followed up by your doctor making a small incision into the gum to expose the roots of the injured tooth. The root will be sectioned off from the remaining tooth and removed. Lastly, a crown is placed to restore functionality to the tooth. While there is a lot to the procedure, a dental root amputation is often less expensive than other alternative restorative procedures for those who are deemed a candidate by their dentist.

If you have more questions regarding dental hemisections or root amputations, give Dr Fattahi and his staff at Hamilton Dental Center a call! They will answer all your questions and see if you are a candidate!


This procedure involves removal of one-half of a tooth. The remaining half will be restored as a one-rooted tooth, and is usually attached or anchored to an adjacent tooth, for additional support and stability.

Root Amputation

Root amputation refers to the removal of one root in a multi-rooted tooth.

These procedures may become options for treatment when there is a persistent endodontic failure in ONLY one root of a "key tooth" which must be kept, or if there is significant bone loss around an individual root due to periodontal (gum) disease. With the advent of modern dental implants, hemisection and root amputation are often done as a "temporary measure" to allow enough bone healing, so an implant can be placed at a later date.