Will having dental root amputation affect how my teeth look?

Jonathan H. Ross, DDS
Root amputations are only done on multi-rooted teeth. These teeth are located in the back of your mouth. Few people show these teeth when they smile, so it is unlikely that it would affect how your teeth look.

On the other hand, root amputations are usually only called for in this day in age to treat a tooth that has a severe perio/endo lesion on one root and is supporting a dental bridge. This is because of the cost/benefit. If that tooth needs a root amputation, a root canal, and a crown, it would likely be better to do a dental implant for longer term success and similar cost.
It depends where in the mouth we are talking about. Like my collegue said, most of root amps take place on multi-rooted posterior teeth, but can sometimes be necessary on an anterior (smile zone) bridges. In this case the tissue may die back and cause unsightly esthetic issues. Most of the time this can be corrected with a new bridge or a different restorative option.
Perhaps. If the tooth is in the front and very visible, a root amputation would only be done if the affected tooth is part of a splint or a bridge. In that case the gum and bone underlying the tooth might shrink leaving a noticeable "gap" which could also trap food and even affect speech patterns.

Should the affected tooth be a back tooth, the gum changes from a root amputation are not likely to be visible to the public and may only be noticeable by you by "feel."

Root amputation is a proven therapy to extend the usefulness of a tooth and may be less expensive than other alternatives such as extraction and replacement with a bridge or an implanted root and crown. On the other hand, progress in implant therapy may provide a more predictably successful long-term solution than traditional root amputation procedures.
A dental root amputation will not affect how your teeth look. A dental root amputation, also known as a dental root resection, is commonly done on molars, which are in the back of the mouth. After the root is amputated, the dentist will put a crown on the tooth so it will look the same as the other teeth.
Yohan Kim, DMD

In general root amputations are for posterior teeth (molars). They will have 2 separate crowns after the amputation and they will look like having 2 premolars. It depending on how broad your smile is, it will be rarely noticed when you smile.

Root amputations are one of the oldest therapies we had in periodontics. Two important points should be done to avoid an unaesthetic outcome:

  • Once the root is removed, the socket should be built with bone graft to avoid the collapse of the site, thus avoiding a ridge defect
  • A new crown should be made.                                         

These procedures should be done exclusively by a trained Periodontist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.