What is Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)?
It’s possible that a nonsurgical root canal procedure won’t be enough to save your tooth and that your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate small fractures or hidden canals previously undetected on X-rays during the initial treatment. Surgery may also be needed to remove calcium deposits in root canals, or to treat damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone of the tooth.
There’s no need to worry about surgery if your endodontist prescribes this additional measure. Advanced technologies like digital imaging and operating microscopes allow these procedures to be performed quickly, comfortably and successfully.
There are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth.
The most common is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection, which may be needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure.
Your endodontist performs this micro surgical procedure first making you comfortable by applying local anesthesia before opening the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and a few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. In the next few months, the bone will heal around the end of the root.
Most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Post-surgical discomfort is generally mild.
Is Endodontic Surgery Right for Me?
- Do you have a failed root canal that may not be retreatable?
- Do you have a failed root canal with a large post?
- Do you have calcified canals?
- Do you want to save your tooth rather than extraction or dental implants?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should consult an endodontist to discuss if a root canal is the right solution for you.
Benefits of Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)?
- Remove harmful infected tissue that could cause serious health problems.
- (What are some of the “serious health problems”?)
- Eliminate bacteria from spreading to other parts of your body
- Save your natural tooth
What’s the Next Step?
If you think you are in need of a root canal, the next step is to schedule a consultation with a root canal specialist. At this visit we will examine and diagnose your tooth/teeth to determine if a root canal is right for you. Your options will be presented and we will work together to save your tooth.