Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save a tooth with injured pulp. 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 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 are two types of endodontic surgeries performed in our office, an apicoectomy, which is the most common, and a root amputation.
What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is occasionally needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure. In this microsurgical procedure, the endodontist opens 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 is placed to seal the end of the root canal and a few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal. Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root.
The video on the right 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 restoring full function.
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What is a root amputation?
Another type of endodontic surgery, is a root amputation. This is a specialized dental procedure, whereby one root is removed from a multi-root tooth. The tooth is then stabilized and rendered fully functional with a crown. The multi-root teeth best suited to the root amputation procedure are the molars at the back of the mouth. The general purpose of the root amputation is to save an injured or diseased tooth from extraction.
Following either of these procedures, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure.
Additional information for after root canal surgery.