At Endodontic Specialists, our Toronto endodontists provide specialized endodontic surgery to patients throughout the GTA. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms, we're here to help.
In some special cases, a root canal (non-surgical endodontic treatment) alone won't be able to save a tooth. Patients may experience persistent symptoms such as pain or inflammation, but issues may not appear on x-rays. In these cases, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.
The most common surgical procedure is called an apicoectomy or root-end resection. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after endodontic treatment, your endodontist may perform an apiecoectomy.
We leverage current dental technologies and treatment practices to help patients feel as comfortable as possible before, during and after the procedure. In most cases, patients can return to their normal activities within 24 hours.
There may be instances where root canal treatment is not possible or has proven ineffective long-term. By performing endodontic surgery, we can effectively treat issues such as inflammation or infection.
Benefits of Endodontic Surgery
Typically, a tooth that has had a root canal can last a lifetime and never require further endodontic treatment. However, if the tooth does not heal or becomes infected with decay, you may experience pain or discomfort even months or years after successful treatment.
That's where endodontic surgery may help. If you have persistent symptoms but your x-ray does not show any problems, surgery allows us to examine the entire tooth root, identify the issue and effectively treat the problem.
Using dental technologies such as digital imaging and microscopes, our endodontists can perform the surgery comfortably, quickly and effectively.
Endodontic Surgery FAQs
- What happens during endodontic surgery?
During an apicoectomy (the most common endodontic surgical procedure), the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to expose the underlying bone, and the infected tissue is removed. The very end of the root is also removed, and a small filling may be placed to seal the root canal.
Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day. You may also need stitches to be placed in the gums to help the tissue heal correctly. Over a few months, the bone will heal around the end of the root.
- Are there other types of endodontic surgery?
In some cases, the endodontist may recommend a procedure called intentional replantation.
During this procedure, we extract the affected tooth, perform endodontic treatment while it is out of the mouth, then return it to its socket.
Other surgeries include repairing an injured root, removing one or more roots or dividing a tooth in half. Our endodontists will gladly discuss your specific case and identify the type of treatment or surgery your tooth requires.
- Why might I need endodontic surgery?
If a canal is too narrow for instruments used in non-surgical root canal treatment to reach the end of the week, endodontic surgery may be required to clean and seal the remainder of the canal.
- What are my other treatment options?
Extraction may be the only alternative to endodontic surgery. The tooth that was extracted will then need to be replaced with a dental implant, bridge or removable partial denture to prevent misalignment issues, restore chewing function and resolve any aesthetic issues.
We prefer to save natural teeth as extraction may lead to other oral health issues. While modern artificial tooth replacements are effective, helping you preserve as many of your natural teeth as possible is still our highest priority.
- What should I expect during recovery from endodontic surgery?
Every patient has a unique set of circumstances, medical history and other factors that may impact recovery time, but your endodontist will provide personalized post-operative instructions.
For any discomfort due to tissue inflammation (which should be minimal), you can take over-the-counter pain medication. If you notice intense pain or pus leaking from the surgical site, contact our office as soon as possible.
We also recommend patients avoid brushing around the tooth vigorously, and refrain from chewing ice or hard foods with the tooth that was treated.
Within a week or so of your endodontic surgery, a followup appointment will be scheduled to check healing progress. Any soreness or swelling should disappear within two weeks. However, you'll want to schedule an appointment with your general dentist as soon as possible so a filling or crown can be replaced.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.