Bessel beams' great importance in optics lies in that these propagate without spreading and can reconstruct themselves behind an obstruction placed across their path. However, a rigorous wave-optics explanation of the latter property is missing. In this work, we study the reconstruction mechanism by means of a wave-optics description. We obtain expressions for the minimum distance beyond the obstruction at which the beam reconstructs itself, which are in close agreement with the traditional one determined from geometrical optics. Our results show that the physics underlying the self-healing mechanism can be entirely explained in terms of the propagation of plane waves with radial wave vectors lying on a ring.