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Root Canal Surgery
Mindy Van, DDS, MSD - Chicago, IL



Occasionally, non-surgical root canal treatment—or root canal therapy—might not be sufficient to achieve complete healing of a tooth infection. If this is the case, your specialist at Lakeview Endodontics will recommend root canal surgery.

Root canal surgery treats an infection directly at the root of the tooth, as opposed to entering through the crown. This procedure is able to treat infections located further down in the tooth, to prevent them from spread further and becoming more severe. The specialists at Lakeview Endodontics are highly trained in treating the unique root canal area in the least invasive, most effective way possible. If you’re experiencing pain or infection in your root canal, call our office. We’ll do everything we can to get you out of pain and back to optimal oral health as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Common Questions about Root Canal Surgery

What is the difference between root canal surgery and root canal therapy?

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 done?

When a tooth’s infection or damage cannot be treated with typical root canal therapy, it is often because the infection is located in the furthest tip of the tooth’s root. This leads to inflammation of the tissues or damage of the surrounding bone. Root canal surgery will be necessary to treat the infection at the tip of the root, as opposed to entering through the crown of the tooth with root canal therapy. If you have a tooth infection, your specialist at Lakeview Endodontics will talk you through the options and course of treatment to get you back to full health and comfort.

Will I be sedated for my root canal surgery?

The specialists at Lakeview Endodontics offer patients a variety of both anesthesia and sedative options during root canal surgery treatment. We do offer conscious sedation, as well. If you’re in need of root canal surgery and have questions about the pain relievers or sedation options available, call our office. Our specialists will ensure that each of your questions and concerns are addressed fully.

How is the root canal surgery done?

If root canal surgery is the recommended option, your 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. A very small incision is made at the base of the tooth, and the infected tissue is removed. Entering via the gums through root canal surgery allows the endodontist to remove the infected tip of the tooth’s root. This root canal treatment may take one or two appointments, and they typically last about 90 minutes each.

How painful is root canal surgery?

While root canal therapy treatment and root canal surgery have a reputation of being painful, patients often report very little pain. The treated area will be numbed prior to the micro-surgery, and proper medication will be given to reduce any pain post-procedure. If you’re concerned about your root canal treatment or surgery, talk with your specialist at Lakeview Endodontics. While the procedure isn’t expected to be very painful, we are able to adjust medications and ensure that you know exactly what to expect.

How long does it take to heal from root canal surgery?

Most patients are able to return to their everyday activities the next day after root canal surgery. For a few days, the tissue around the treated area will feel sensitive, depending on the severity of the infection. Over the next few months, your bone will gradually heal around the end of the tooth’s root. However, patients generally only experience mild pain post-treatment.

Can root canal surgery be avoided?

Unfortunately, if you have a tooth root infection, it will not go away on its own. If left untreated, the infection can reach the tooth’s roots or the jaw bone. To avoid a root canal treatment or root canal surgery in the future, it’s important to maintain proper dental hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash daily in addition to routine dental cleanings with a professional.

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