Apicoectomy | An overview of endodontic surgery
Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?
Typically, a root canal is the treatment needed to save a tooth with injured of infected pulp form extraction. In the event the non-surgical root canal is not sufficient in healing the infected tooth then endodontic surgery is recommended. During endodontic surgery we can obtain biopsies of chronic lesions (upon patient request), visualize fractures or hidden canals, and remove any other etiology that causes pain of chronic infection in the tooth. If damage is present on the root surface or surrounding bone, it can be treated with this procedure. The surgery most commonly used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy, also called a root-end resection.
What is an Apicoectomy?
The above video illustrate this procedure. The bone and surrounding inflamed tissue is exposed by making a small incision into the gingiva (gums). Small instruments are used to remove the inflamed and damaged tissue along with a small portion of the root tip. To prevent reinfection of the root a root-end filling material is placed. The area is rinsed with sterile saline and the gingiva is repositioned and sutured into place. Over the next few weeks the gingiva will heal and over a period of months the underlying bone will heal. Although the healing process can take several months the tooth is still functional shortly after the procedure.
After completion of the procedure the patient should expect discomfort of slight swelling as the incision heals. The appropriate pain medication will be recommended to alleviate and discomfort. In the event the patients pain is not responding to medication it is recommended you call our office. Sutures are removed within a few days, and within 10 days the patient can resume normal activity. Post-surgical checks are within one week after surgery, and again in six months for a recall examination.