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Tooth Hemisection: Enhancing Dental Longevity and Function

Tooth decay is a common dental problem. It can be extensive, involving the pulp, resulting in pain and discomfort. Earlier teeth with extensive tooth decay, not treatable through root canal therapy, were candidates for extractions.

However, specialists at the Jackson Heights dental office offer tooth hemisection procedures to save your decayed and damaged teeth from extractions. Keep reading to know how a tooth hemisection procedure is performed! 

A comprehensive guide to tooth hemisection 

Tooth hemisection is a minimally invasive endodontic surgery that involves cutting or sectioning the tooth into two halves, creating two separate sections. This is often performed only on multi-rooted molars having at least two roots. The main aim of this procedure is to preserve the structure and functionality of the treated tooth. This is a conservative and cost-effective alternative treatment to molar extractions.

When is a tooth hemisection indicated? 

There are several common reasons for a hemisection. These include:

  • Root canal treatment failure 
  • Vertical root fracture 
  • Bone loss
  • Bifurcation
  • Pulp chamber damage
  • Severe root exposure 

How is the procedure performed?

At first, the dentist will evaluate your tooth through dental radiographs. This helps them identify the exact areas of decay or infection harming the tooth. This also helps determine your candidacy for the procedure.

Here is a step-by-step guide to tooth hemisection:

  • Your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth.
  • The tooth roots will be accessed through a small incision in the gums.
  • If there is a healthy root, the dentist will perform a root amputation on the damaged root and leave the surviving root intact. 
  • The treatment area will be cleaned, and a temporary crown will be placed to cover the remaining half of the crown.

What happens after a tooth hemisection?

This is what you can expect after a tooth hemisection:

  • You may feel some discomfort and mild swelling for the first two days post-procedure.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods to prevent bleeding and damage to the sutures.
  • You will be given a prescription mouthwash to ensure the mouth is clean and free from infection after the surgical procedure.
  • The sutures will be removed after about a week or two.
  • The tooth should be healed enough to place a dental crown after a few months.


Tooth hemisection is a conservative and cost-effective alternative to tooth extraction. It involves removing half of a molar with more than one root. This restorative treatment maintains a healthy tooth structure and prevents the space that would be left by an extraction.

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