Occasionally, a nonsurgical
root canal procedure alone cannot save your tooth and your endodontist will
recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate small fractures or
hidden canals that weren't detected on x-rays or during previous 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. Endodontists use advanced technologies like
digital imaging and operating microscopes to perform surgeries 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 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 may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and
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. Local anesthetics make the
procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the
next day. Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
For even more
information on endodontic surgery, click to visit our Endodontic Surgery Explained page that offers a step-by-step
explanation of the most common surgical procedure, apicoectomy.
Learn how endodontists perform surgery to treat an abscess or infection and
save your tooth.
Visit the AAE YouTubeChannel for more patient education videos.
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