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 (an apicoectomy/retrograde filling procedure) can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on radiographs (x-rays) but still manifest pain in the tooth.
  • Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. 

What is an Apicoectomy?

The video on the right illustrates this 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 (retrograde 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.

A diagram of infected tissue in the bone near root tip of tooth
1. Infected Tissue
A representation of an incision made and infected tissue being removed from bone
2. Tissue Removed
An illustration of filling material placed in removed bone area and held with suture
3. Suture Placed
An example of the bone completely healed after a apicoectomy procedure
4. Healing Complete

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. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office.


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