Dental Problems

What is Endodontic Surgery? – Procedure

Many dentists believe that the objective of endodontic surgery is to eliminate infected root apicies and/or periapical tissue. Often endodontic surgery is referred to incorrectly as an apicoectomy. Actually, apicoectomy by itself is seldom enough to resolve root canal failures. The purpose of an apicoecomy is only to allow us to read the root and examine the canals. To seal the canals, some form of retrofilling is usually necessary.

Why would I need endodontic surgery?

Surgery can help save your tooth in a variety of situations.

Surgery may be used in diagnosis. If you have persistent symptoms but no problems appear on your x-ray, your tooth may have a tiny fracture or canal that could not be detected during nonsurgical treatment. In such a case, surgery allows your endodontist to examine the entire root of your tooth, find the problem, and provide treatment.

Sometimes calcium deposits make a canal too narrow for the instruments used in nonsurgical root canal treatment to reach the end of the root. If your tooth has this “calcification,” your endodontist may perform endodontic surgery to clean and seal the remainder of the canal.

Usually, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can last the rest of your life and never need further endodontic treatment. However, in a few cases, a tooth may not heal or become infected. A tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If this is true for you, surgery may help save your tooth.

Surgery may also be performed to treat damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone.

Although there are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth, the most common is called apicoectomy or root-end resection. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure, your endodontist may have to perform an apicoectomy.

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