Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulps from being extracted. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth, and we may recommend endodontic microsurgery. Endodontic microsurgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.
What is an Apicoectomy?
The diagram above 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 prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months, thus restoring full function of the tooth and the surrounding supporting structures. On various cases, bone graft and membrane will also be used to guide the bone tissue for optimal healing. This procedure is routinely performed using the aid of endoscopy or microscopy to provide superb visualization to optimize predictability of success.
Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the surgical area heals as this is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate antibiotic and pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office immediately.