In many cases, a tooth with injured pulp can be treated with root canal therapy instead of an extraction; however, there are some cases where a root canal procedure is not sufficient to heal the tooth, at which point your general or family dentist may recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery with our oral surgoens can be used to locate hidden canals or fractures that do not appear on X-rays but still create pain and may be a source of continued infection. Damaged to root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with an apicoectomy. The most common surgery used to save these damaged teeth is called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection, with retrofill.
What occurs in an apicoectomy and retrofill procedure?
First, our surgeons will make an incision in the soft gum tissue to expose the bone and the surrounding inflamed tissue. Then, the damaged tissue, along with the end of the root tip, is removed. To seal the end of the root to prevent reinfection of the root, we will place a root-end filling and suture the gum tissue. Over the next several months, the bone will naturally heal around the root, restoring full function to your tooth and mouth.
Following the procedure, you may experience some discomfort or slight swelling as the incision heals. This is considered normal for any surgical procedure and should start to subside in four to six days. To alleviate any discomfort, we will recommend and prescribe appropriate pain medication.