Even the greatest tooth replacements cannot compete with the real thing. This is why endodontists do everything they can to save a natural tooth. And, one of the tools they use is a procedure known as endodontic surgery.
Let’s take a look at what it is - and what the signs are that you may need it.
The outside of your tooth is tough, but it is there to protect the soft tissues and pulp inside the tooth. When this area becomes infected, the only way to effectively treat it is to remove the pulp itself. This procedure is known as root canal treatment. The pulp is removed, the canals are disinfected, and the tooth is sealed up and saved. Most of the time, this is all that is needed. But, when the infection has spread into the jaw bone and surrounding areas, endodontic surgery is necessary.
If the infection has spread too deep or the areas of the root canal were unable to be accessed, reaching the tooth’s pulp and roots directly can help - and that means having to go through the gum. This procedure, an apicoectomy, is one of the most common endodontic surgeries. It involves making an incision in the gum to remove the pulp and the tip end of the root as well as any infection or inflamed tissue that is found in areas in and around the jaw bone.
When the endodontist is confident the area is cleared out of infection, a small filling is often used to seal off the end of the root’s canal - and stitches are used to close up the incision so that the area may heal.
Within a few months, the bone and root end will heal together.
Other Reasons for Endodontic Surgery
Endodontists perform a few other surgeries in addition to apicoectomies. For instance, they may need to do an intentional replantation. This involves removing the tooth from the mouth, treating it with the necessary procedure, and then replanting it back in its socket. Or, it may be necessary to repair a root that has been injured - or remove roots altogether.
Remember, endodontists use every procedure they can to ensure that they can save the natural tooth. If something unusual has been noticed on your x-rays, endodontic surgery can also be used for exploring the situation and creating a plan for treatment.
Signs You May Need Endodontic Surgery
So, how do you know whether you will need endodontic surgery rather than just a root canal treatment? Well, the best person to diagnose this and determine the proper treatment is a skilled endodontist. In the meantime, if you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, it is time to make an appointment.
- Chronic pain that is severe. While some may experience a dull ache, most are in an extraordinary amount of pain and discomfort.
- Tooth sensitivity to both hot, cold, and sugary sweet food and beverages.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Pimple-type bump on the gums next to or near the ailing tooth.
- Sensitivity to the touch.
Find Relief with Endodontic Surgery
When your tooth is in pain, you need a skilled endodontic team that can take fast action to bring you relief and treat the problem. And, that is exactly what you will find here at Cragun Endodontics.