Generally, root canal treatment is all that is required to repair your injured tooth.  Occasionally, however, the root canal procedure alone may not be sufficient to promote healing and to eliminate the problem.  If the tooth is not healing, we may suggest surgical treatment.  Endodontic surgery can be used to remove persistent infections, locate fractures, or treat hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but cause persistent pain in the endodontically treated tooth.  Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure.  The most common surgery performed to save damaged teeth is called an “apicoectomy” or “root-end resection.”

“Root-end resection” begins with an incision in the gum tissue to expose the damaged root and/or bone.  The damaged portion of root or bone is removed, and the surrounding areas are cleaned.  Usually, a root-end filling is placed at the end of the root to seal the root canal and to prevent re-infection.  The gum tissue is then sutured back into position.  The bone will heal naturally over the next few months to years.  We will closely monitor you and your tooth during this time.

Following endodontic microsurgery, you may expect some discomfort, swelling, and possibly both intra- and extra-oral bruising of the surrounding area.  This is normal after any surgical procedure.  We will guide you through the post-operative healing with specific instructions and medications as needed.  We are only a phone call away if you have any questions after your surgical procedure.