Endodontic surgery can save a tooth in a variety of situations. It is often the last resort to save a tooth with problems associated with a root canal or when root canal therapy is not enough to save a tooth. Surgery prevents the need for tooth extraction, allowing patients to retain their natural smiles.
While many people experience fear at the thought of surgery, the notion that endodontic surgery is scary and painful is mistaken. Technological advancements and new techniques help patients remain safe and comfortable during their procedures. Many patients have endodontic surgery to remove discomfort as treatment clears any infection and repairs damage.
Undergoing professional dental cleaning removes leftover food and debris from tight spaces of the mouth. While this debris can be uncomfortable, the discomfort should disappear following the professional cleaning. If pain persists after the procedure, it could be a sign of tooth infection or decay that may require endodontic surgery.
Although it is normal to experience some sensitivity when consuming hot or cold drinks or food, persistent pain can indicate a more significant problem. Pain that continues even after eating or drinking may be due to weak enamel or an infection inside the tooth. The latter problem may require endodontic surgery to repair the damage.
Usually, the only alternative to endodontic surgery is tooth extraction. Patients that undergo tooth extraction must replace the tooth with a dental bridge, implant, or partial denture to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting and restore normal chewing function. It is best to save a tooth whenever possible as nothing looks, feels, or functions like a natural tooth.
Local anesthetics will help numb the treatment area to help patients remain comfortable during the procedure. After the surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling at the incision site. Patients can manage any pain with over-the-counter pain medication.
Most patients can resume their normal activities the day after surgery. Patients should refrain from doing any strenuous activities for the rest of the day after the procedure as it can cause increased swelling and bleeding. We also recommend that patients avoid exercising for three to four days following endodontic surgery.
If a patient fails to receive endodontic surgery to repair a tooth, their discomfort will persist and worsen over time. The disease will spread and can cause severe health problems if it spreads throughout the body. Avoiding surgery can also cause the nerves in the teeth to die. Eventually, the only option will be tooth extraction.
There are various types of endodontic surgery that can save a tooth. An apicoectomy is the most common endodontic surgical procedure. Other surgeries include intentional replantation, root end amputation, dividing a tooth in half, and repairing an injured root.