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Endodontic surgery

Generally, a root canal is sufficient to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. However, sometimes, this non-surgical procedure will not be effective to heal the tooth and that is when the endodontic surgery is recommended.

Endodontic surgery can be used to locate painful fractures or hidden canals that otherwise do not appear on x-rays. The surgery also facilitates treatment of damaged root surfaces and the surrounding bone. Apicoectomy (or root-end resection) is the most common surgery used to save the damaged teeth.


Under this procedure, an incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.

The following diagrams illustrate the entire surgical procedure.

Gum tissue near the tooth is opened to get the view of underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue (if found). In the procedure the very end of the root is also removed.

A small filling is placed in the root to seal the end of the root canal, and a few stitches or sutures are placed in the gingiva to ensure that the tissue heal properly.

Over a period of time, the bone heals around the end of the root.

Also, following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended.