Why would I need endodontic surgery?
Usually, a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment can last the rest of your life and never need further endodontic treatment. However, in few cases, a tooth may fail to heal and non-surgical procedure alone cannot save the tooth. In such a case, your endodontist may recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery may be used to locate tiny fractures or canals that could not be detected during non-surgical treatment. If you have persistent symptoms but no problems appear on your x-rays, surgery allows your endodontist to examine the root of the tooth, find the problem, and provide treatment. Surgery may also be performed to treat damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone. When inflammation or infection persists at the end of the root after a root canal procedure, it may have to be removed surgically. The most common surgery used to save a tooth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.
What is an Apicoectomy? An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone and surrounding inflamed or infected tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the very end of the root. A root-end filling may be placed to seal the root canal to prevent reinfection of the root, and the gum is sutured to help the tissue heal properly. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function. This is a fairly simple procedure and is usually done in 45 minutes with local anesthetics.
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.