Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest as pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.
What is an Apicoectomy?
Apicoectomy means removal of the apex or root tip of the tooth. The video on the right illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to seal the root end and prevent reinfection of the root, and then the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.
1. Infected Tissue
2. Tissue Removed
3. Suture Placed
4. Healing Complete
Following the procedure, there may be some slight discomfort and swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort or swelling, a prescription pain medication and ice packs to the area will be recommended for the first 24 hours. If you have pain that does not respond to the pain medication, fever, difficulty swallowing, excessive bleeding, or other difficulties, please call our office immediately.