Endodontic Surgery, Apicoectomy

Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

cross section showing inflamed/infected gum tissue at root end of toothGenerally, a root canal is all that is needed to save a tooth with injured pulp from extraction. 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 in the tooth. 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, or root-end resection.

What is Endodontic Surgery?

graphic showing endodontic surgery procedure apicoectomyThe following images illustrate this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is then 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. 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.

image showing healed root tip and boneAfter surgery, the bone surrounding your tooth will heal naturally around the root over a period of months restoring full function.