A root resection is very different from root canal treatment. In root canal treatment, the nerves and blood vessels inside the root are removed. Then the space is filled with a material that can be seen on an X-ray. In a root resection, the entire root of a tooth is removed. However, root resection does require cutting into the inside of the tooth, which contains blood vessels and nerves. For this reason, the tooth will need root canal treatment before a root resection can be done.
Root resections are done less often now than in the past. Today, your dentist has other options. For example, the tooth can be extracted and replaced with an implant. It's better to keep your natural tooth than to get an implant, but in some cases an implant may be preferred. A root resection can end up costing as much as (or more than) an extraction and an implant. That's because the tooth that remains will also need root canal treatment and a crown (cap). This treatment may not last as long as an implant.
The dentist will rinse the area with a sterile saline solution. A bone graft may be placed where the root was. Then the gum will be stitched closed. You may be given prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medicine.
When your stitches are removed, your dentist will see how your gums are healing. Once your gums have healed, the dentist can place a permanent crown on the tooth.
Because a root resection removes part of a tooth, the procedure carries the same risks as tooth extraction. These include: