A tooth hemisection is the procedure of cutting a pearly white that has two roots in half to create two separate sections. It can be carried out by a number of practitioners including an experienced dentist, a periodontist or an oral surgeon.
In cases involving the upper molars – which normally have three roots – this course of action cannot be performed, although it is often possible to divide this part of the mouth into three parts.
Why is this procedure carried out?
A hemisection is performed when decay or bone loss caused by periodontal disease has affected the area in between the two roots. Using this course of action, a dental professional is able to reach the affected area and provide treatment that will resolve the issue.
When the areas have been separated, a dentist will evaluate whether each half of the root can be restored or not. Sometimes, crown lengthening of one or more parts of the pearly white may be the best option available.
This process entails the removal of soft gum tissue, bone or often both to expose the surface of the tooth. However, if the decay is too extensive, one or both of the halves will be removed or resected.
While hemisections are less common since the emergence of new and innovative technologies in the world of dentistry, they are still ustilised as an alternative to tooth extraction and dental implants.
A dental professional will be able to provide patients with a detailed analysis and their opinion on which procedure is best suited for their needs, as the ideal outcome depends on the extent of the decay or bone loss that affected the tooth.
In addition, the probability of successfully restoring a tooth is also an important factor, which highlights the importance for patients to seek guidance from a dentist before passing any judgements on the course of action they will select.
How do I prepare for a hemisection?
Before the procedure is carried out, patients will undergo root canal treatment. Following this, the dentist will examine X-rays, look at the teeth and pinpoint specific areas of decay that need urgent attention.
How is the procedure carried out?
The dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the deeper structure of the tooth initially, then the roots will be separated. At the same time, decay and other parts of the pearly white will be removed to protect the overall mouthpart.
Following this, the area is cleaned with sterile saline solutions and if necessary, the small cuts will be stitched closed. The tooth is then covered with a temporary crown or filling, which is going to be replaced with a permanent fixture at a later date.
Overall, a hemisection will take between 30 minutes and an hour to carry out, depending on the amount of decay and periodontal disease present. In many cases, an initial procedure will be needed prior to the hemisection.
What happens after a hemisection?
Patients are likely to feel some discomfort and swelling for the first two days after the treatment is carried out. During this rime, light bleeding is also common, meaning individuals should avoid chewing with the affected area until all stitches have been removed.
A prescription mouthwash will be given to ensure the mouth is kept clean after the operation.
Patients usually return to the dentist to have their stitches removed after a week or two, which will allow the professional to monitor whether or not the gums are healing properly. The pearly white should be healed enough to place a crown after a few months.
Some individuals get one crown that will fit on both halves, leaving a space between the roots to allow easy access for oral hygiene, while the two parts can also be restored as individual teeth with two separate crowns.
Are there any risks associated with this procedure?
A tooth that has been hemisected is usually more difficult to clean, which can make maintaining oral health more difficult. In addition, the pearly white will be much weaker than the natural structure following the treatment.
If the tooth sustains further ailments when this course of action is complete, it may require extracting.
Those people who are worried about the level of pain, swelling or bleeding during the days following the operation should contact their dentist as soon as possible, even if this is to provide peace of mind.