Occasionally, non-surgical root canal treatment will not be sufficient to achieve complete healing of the tooth, and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Root canal surgery helps with infections at the tip of the root.
What is the difference between root canal therapy and root canal surgery?
While root canal therapy involves entering the canals through the crown of the tooth and removing the pulp, root canal surgery involves entering the canals through the gingival (gum) tissue to get to the infected root tip. While root canal therapy deals directly with the pulp and canals, surgery can be used to locate clinically invisible fractures or damaged root surfaces that are otherwise inaccessible.
When is root canal surgery necessary?
Root canal surgery is necessary when a tooth’s infection or damage cannot be treated with typical root canal therapy. Often this is because the infection is located in the farthest tip of the tooth’s root, leading to inflammation of the tissues or damage of the surrounding bone.
How is the root canal surgery done?
If root canal surgery is the recommended option, the endodontist will walk you through the procedure so you can be confident and comfortable with the treatment before you start. On the day of your appointment, proper anesthesia is administered to the tooth and surrounding tissues so that minor surgery can be performed on the gingiva while you are feeling comfortable. Entering through the gums allows the endodontist to remove the infected tip of the tooth’s root, which then allows the bone to heal.