Wisdom Tooth Coronectomy

Coronectomy vs. Extraction: Whats right for you?

Coronectomy is a treatment option involving removing the crown of the lower wisdom tooth, while keeping the roots in place in healthy patients over the age of 25 years old. This option is given to patients as an alternative to extraction when the wisdom teeth are in close proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve, and is used to prevent damage to the nerve which may occur during extraction.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Complications and Nerve Damage

One of the major risks of removing the lower wisdom teeth is injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN). The risk of injury to the IAN ranges generally ranges from 0.35% to 8.4% during wisdom teeth removal. This causes numbness to the patient’s lip and chin on the side of the injury. In majority of cases, the numbness is temporary and full feeling is regained over weeks to months.

For higher risk situations, there is an alternative procedure known as coronectomy also known as a partial odontectomy, which involves removing the coronal (top part of the tooth) only and leaving the roots behind. This substantially minimizes the risk of a nerve injury. 

Healing After Coronectomy

The roots that are left behind can migrate over time. In a small number of patients (approximately 3%) healing will be impaired and require a second surgery for root removal. This second surgery is typically safer since the roots will most likely migrate away from the nerve.

Dr. Matthew Hilmi and his trained staff welcome the opportunity to discuss this procedure with you at your consultation.

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