Why would I need endodontic surgery?

Generally, a root canal or root canal retreatment is all that is needed to save teeth with diseased pulps, roots and surrounding bone from extraction. Occasionally, endodontic treatment or non-surgical endodontic retreatment may not be sufficient to heal the tooth. When this situation exists, Dr. Odum or Dr. O’Connor will study the tooth with a 3-D CBCT image, and may need to perform Surgical Endodontic Treatment.  Planning the surgery in advance with the 3-D CBCT image, we are able to target the diseased root surfaces and surrounding bone in need of repair. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth involves an apicoectomy or root-end resection.  Due to the complexity of apical surgery outcomes, the expected odds of success is 80-85%. Other common indications for endodontic surgery are verification of non-restorable fractures and repair of root resorption defects.

What is an apicoectomy?

The video below illustrates this procedure. A surgical incision is made in the gum tissue beside the root to reveal the diseased bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A biocompatible root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone is capable of naturally healing around the root over a period of months to restore full function.


What should I expect after an apicoectomy?

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment.  Please refer to our Home Care Instructions after Endodontic Surgery for detailed guidance and instructions.  An endodontist from Northwest Endodontic Specialists, PC is always on call and is available to resolve unanticipated difficulties.