A surgical endodontic procedure is performed to save a tooth from extraction when a root canal is insufficient to heal a tooth. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still cause 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.
An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with a small amount of the root tip and sent to University of Washington for histopathology, whereby changes in the tissues caused by disease are analyzed.
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.
There may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals and is normal for any surgical procedure. We will prescribe an appropriate medication to alleviate pain/swelling. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office. You will need a post-surgical check 1-2 weeks after surgery, and then again in six months for a recall examination.