Preserving Natural Teeth with Endodontic Surgery
If the health of a natural tooth is threatened, your doctor may recommend endodontic surgery. Patients in the Montgomery, AL, area who require the specialization of an endodontist can receive outstanding care from our team of oral surgery experts. Our doctors have a variety of options to relieve symptoms and return your tooth to normal function. Regardless of the treatment you require, we will make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. To learn more, contact our office today and schedule an appointment.
Determining Your Candidacy
Candidates for endodontic surgery are often patients whose infected tooth could not be saved with a root canal. Endodontic surgery can also be used for diagnosis, so you may be a candidate if you have persistent symptoms and the cause does not show up on an x-ray.
Infection in a tooth is fairly common. At the center of each tooth is a soft tissue called pulp, containing blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. An infection can form in the pulp for a variety of reasons, including deep decay, cracks and chips, facial trauma, or repeated dental procedures. An infected tooth can cause pain and sensitivity in the tooth and gums, and may even result in visible swelling. During root canal therapy, the infected pulp is removed via an access hole in the top of the tooth. Afterwards, the tooth chamber and canals of the roots are sealed. Sometimes, however, a root canal procedure alone cannot save the tooth.
Endodontic Surgery Procedures
Although there are several endodontic surgery procedures that can be used to save a tooth, the most common is an apicoectomy, or root-end resection. To perform this procedure, the endodontist will first make the patient comfortable with appropriate anesthesia, then open the gum tissue near the tooth to access and remove the infected or damaged tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. Afterward, a small filling may be placed in the root to seal the end of the root canal, and sutures will be placed in the gum to help with healing. The bone then heals around the end of the root over a period of a few months.
Other examples of endodontic surgery include:
- The treatment of damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone
- Cleaning and sealing a root canal that has calcification that cannot be reached with non-surgical instruments
- Removal of one or more roots
- In certain cases, extracting and treating a tooth outside the mouth, then replacing it in the socket (intentional replantation)
Our doctors are happy to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with you in detail and answer all of your questions. We use state-of-the-art technology and provide sedation options so you will be comfortable and relaxed throughout your procedure.
Natural teeth perform the most efficient chewing action, keep the jawbone healthy, maintain normal biting force, and limit the need for potentially costly, ongoing dental work. For these reasons, it is always best to save a natural tooth whenever possible. Besides being very effective at saving damaged teeth, endodontic surgery can locate small fractures or hidden canals that could not be detected on x-rays or during previous treatment.
Endodontic surgery has a very high degree of success. Similar to any surgery, however, risks and complications may occur. These include, but are not limited to, swelling, discomfort, numbness, bleeding, and infection. The best thing you can do to minimize your risk is choose a practice with highly trained, reputable experts.
Alternatives to Surgery
If an endodontic surgery procedure cannot save your tooth, it will need to be extracted and restored. Options for replacement include a dental implant topped with a crown, a bridge, or a partial denture. Dental implants offer numerous advantages for your oral health and provide a stable foundation for a restoration that looks and feels the most like your natural teeth.
Whether you have received a diagnosis or are seeking treatment for recurrent symptoms, we can help. To learn more about endodontic surgery or schedule a consultation, contact us today.
I wish to thank publically Dr. Ingalls and his staff for "going the extra mile" and not only providing great dental care but also helping a fellow human being out of compassion and caring. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did for my family member.Rodney H.