Why would I need endodontic surgery?

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save a tooth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to allow for complete healing and Dr. Angell 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 infected surrounding bone may also be treated by a surgical procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged endodontically treated 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/infected tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. The gum is then sutured. The bone heals naturally around the root over a period of months restoring full function.

1. Infected Tissue

2. Tissue Removed

3. Suture Placed

4. Healing Complete

What should I expect after an apicoectomy?

Following the surgical procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the tissues heal. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended (click here for Dr. Angell’s post-operative instructions). If you have pain that does not respond to recommended medication(s), please call our office.