A tooth hemisection is a specialized dental procedure in which half of a damaged tooth is removed. This technique is typically reserved for molars, the larger teeth located at the back of the mouth, as they possess the necessary strength and stability to function effectively after the procedure. Smaller teeth generally do not have the structural integrity to remain viable following a hemisection.

The primary advantage of a hemisection is that it preserves as much of the natural tooth as possible, which is always a priority for your oral health and function. While prosthetic restorations such as implants and bridges are available, none can fully replicate the benefits of maintaining natural tooth structure. Additionally, a hemisection is a cost-effective and predictable procedure compared to other tooth replacement options.

Dr. Gregory Davis may recommend a tooth hemisection in cases such as:

  • Root canal therapy failure: If root canal treatment does not succeed in saving the tooth, a hemisection might be the next step. This involves removing the affected half of the tooth to preserve the remaining healthy structure.
  • Vertical fractures: When a molar sustains a vertical fracture, either from trauma or decay, a hemisection can save the uninjured portion of the tooth.
  • Vertical bone loss: Significant bone loss around a tooth can undermine its stability. A hemisection can help maintain the tooth’s position by removing the compromised section and reinforcing the healthy part with a partial crown.
  • Damage to the pulp chamber: If the pulp chamber floor is perforated, the tooth’s inner mechanisms become vulnerable to infection. A hemisection can protect the healthy part of the tooth by removing the damaged section and sealing it off from bacteria.
  • Bifurcation involvement: Gum disease or periodontitis can affect the area between a tooth’s roots. Removing the diseased portion through a hemisection can halt the progression of the disease and prevent further bone loss.

The procedure for a tooth hemisection involves a detailed examination and X-rays to assess the tooth’s condition. Performed under local anesthesia, the procedure usually takes around 30 minutes. Our dentist will make a small incision in the gum to expose the tooth roots, which are then separated. If one root is deemed healthy, the other is removed, and the area is cleaned thoroughly. A temporary crown is placed, with a permanent custom crown to follow, ensuring the tooth’s long-term stability.

If you have any questions or concerns about tooth hemisections in Boise, Idaho, or to schedule a consultation with our experienced dentist, please reach out to State Street Dental at 208-939-1700.