Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth 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 an Apicoectomy?

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.

What should I expect following the Apicoectomy?

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. You will be numb for 2-4 hours following the procedure. We recommend that you take Advil every 4-6 hours for 36 hours beginning before the anesthesia wears off. To keep your surgical area free of debris, we ask that you rinse with warm salt water or CREST pro-health mouth rinse for the first 3 days as often as possible. Do brush your teeth and floss, do NOT brush your sutures. If after you take the Advil and you need more relief, feel free to take any prescribed pain pills that may have been given for post-operative discomfort. We will see you in 7-10 days to check on your healing and to remove any sutures. It is normal to have swelling, slight bleeding, and sutures can become loose after a few days of healing. It is normal for the surgical site to be tender to touch. We ask you DO NOT remove or cut your own sutures and that you keep your fingers away from the surgical site. If you have pain that does not respond to any medications, please call our office. If you have a true dental emergency after business hours, leave a message on our voice mail on the way to the nearest emergency room.