At Family Dental Group, we are home to many dental professionals, including endodontists. Endodontists specialize in endodontic treatments, which are typically surgical treatments that can save the teeth from infection or other damage. Patients in the Laguna Hills can trust Family Dental Group for their endodontics needs.
WHAT IS ENDODONTIC SURGERY?
Endodontic surgery can help save your tooth in a variety of situations. The benefit of choosing endodontic surgery could be a healthy, functioning, natural tooth for the rest of your life.
Usually, a tooth that has undergone a root canal can last the rest of your life and never need further endodontic treatment. However, in a few cases, a tooth may not heal or may become infected. A tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. If this is true for you, surgery may help save your tooth.
Sometimes calcium deposits make a canal too narrow for the instruments used in nonsurgical root canal treatment to reach the end of the root. Your endodontist may perform endodontic surgery to clean and seal the remainder of the canal.
Surgery may be used as a diagnostic tool if you have persistent symptoms but no problems appear on your X-ray. In such a case, surgery allows your endodontist to examine the entire root of your tooth, find the problem, and provide treatment.
Surgery may also be performed to treat damaged root surfaces or surrounding bone.
TYPES OF ENDODONTIC SURGERY
Apicoectomy (Root-End Resection)
Although there are many surgical procedures that can be performed to save a tooth, the most common is called apicoectomy, or root-end resection. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after a root canal procedure, your endodontist may have to perform an apicoectomy.
In this procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed in the root to seal the end of the root canal, and a few stitches or sutures are placed in the gums to help the tissue heal properly. Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root.
In certain cases, a procedure called intentional replantation may be performed. In this procedure, a tooth is extracted, treated with an endodontic procedure while it is out of the mouth, and then replaced in its socket.
Other surgeries endodontists might perform include dividing a tooth in half, repairing an injured root, or even removing one or more roots. Your endodontist will be happy to discuss the specific type of surgery your tooth requires.
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO ENDODONTIC SURGERY?
Often, the only alternative to surgery is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. No matter how effective modern artificial tooth replacements are, nothing is as good as your natural tooth.
WHAT IS ENDODONTIC RETREATMENT?
Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime.
As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial endodontic therapy (root canal treatment) for a variety of reasons. If the infection did not heal properly, placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed, or new decay has formed, you may need endodontic retreatment in order to save your tooth.
HOW DOES THE RETREATMENT PROCEDURE WORK?
First, your endodontist will discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, your endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. Removal of restoration and filling material allows access to blocked canals.
After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
Your endodontist will clean the canals, seal them, and place a filling in the tooth. If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.
After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to its full function.
If you are in need of an endodontic treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Family Dental Group is home to endodontists and a number of other dental professionals, so we are able to provide a range of dental health services under one roof. Patients in Laguna Hills can find the care they need at Family Dental Group.