The Purpose of Endodontic Surgery

Ideally, root canal therapy is all that would be needed to save a tooth with injured pulp from needing to be extracted. In some cases, this non-surgical procedure is not sufficient to heal the tooth, and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to pinpoint fractures or hidden canals that may not appear on x-rays but still cause pain in the tooth. Root surfaces that have been damaged or the surrounding bone can also be treated with this procedure. Most commonly the surgery used to save damaged teeth is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection.

What is an Apicoectomy?

The incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and the inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue and a small amount of the root tip is removed. A root-end filling is put in place to prevent recurring infection of the root, and the gum is sutured. The bone can then heal around the root over a period of months restoring full function to the affected area.

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To calm any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication may be recommended. If your pain does not respond to medication, please call our office any time. We routinely see our surgery patients for a post-surgical check one to two weeks after surgery, and, if needed again in six months for a recall examination.


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