Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

Root canal procedures have a very high degree of success and are meant to last as long as the other teeth in the mouth. 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 pain or infection. 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.

What is an Apicoectomy?

The video on the right illustrates this simple procedure. With the use of an advanced surgical operating microscope, 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 non-metal filling is placed in the tip of the root to prevent reinfection of the root, and the incision is closed with a few stitches which dissolve over a short period of time. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months, restoring full function.

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office. Please be sure to review all written instructions that were given to your following your treatment.