Occasionally, a non-surgical (root canal) procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and an endodontist will recommend surgery.
Endodontic surgery can be necessary 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 the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is usually placed to prevent re-infection of the root and the gum is replaced and stitched up. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months, restoring the tooth to full function. Immediately following the procedure, there may be some discomfort, slight swelling or bruising while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended.
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