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Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist 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 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.

What is an Apicoectomy?

The video on the right illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. 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.

1. Infected Tissue

2. Tissue Removed

3. Suture Placed

4. Healing Complete

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals, as in any normal surgical procedure.  We recommend you plan to take the remainder of the day off from work to rest.  Swelling seems to be the greatest when first waking the next morning and should decrease as the day goes on. To help alleviate swelling, we recommend sleeping with two pillows. An appropriate pain medication will be recommended to help with discomfort.  If you have pain or swelling that does not respond to medication or intermittent icing, please call our office (910) 350-3508.  

Before you leave your appointment, we will schedule you to return in approximately one week to remove your sutures.  Make sure you refrain from eating on that tooth until your sutures are removed or when instructed. 

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