Surgical Root Canal

Surgical Root Canals (Apicoectomy)

"Are Root Canals Safe?" Watch a video from the American Association of Endodontists.

Sometimes the pain or infection in your teeth, gums, or jaw continues after a non-surgical root canal. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Emine Loxley, DDS at Santa Rosa Endodontics. Our team's dedication, experience, professionalism, and care go a long way in treating all forms of endodontic problems. We want you to recognize that healthy teeth, gums, and a beautiful smile can be maintained practically pain-free!

If non-surgical root canal therapy is deemed not an option, Dr. Loxley will explain another option besides pulling the tooth. The most typical form of surgical root canal treatment is the procedure known as apicoectomy, or root end surgery.

How Apicoectomies work

As an endodontist, Dr. Loxley understands the various choices for eliminating infections in your teeth and gums. Non-surgical root canal treatment is generally the first choice to remove infected pulp, clean the inside of the tooth and root canal, and seal the area while saving the tooth. When it is unsuccessful or stronger measures are required, and the purpose of the treatment is to save the tooth, an apicoectomy can be done to eliminate new or recurring infection.

Apicoectomy is an endodontic surgery procedure where the tip (apex) of a tooth root is surgically removed (defined as “ectomy”). The action fights the infection found in tissues around the root’s tip. Although it is an invasive surgery, the results are generally effective.

What are some of the things Dr. Loxley looks for that indicate surgical root canal treatment is likely? Cracks or fractures on roots or blocked root canals that cannot be cleaned and sealed are common problems that prohibit non-surgical root canal treatment. Be sure to ask any questions you have and get answers that you understand regarding your concerns. Also note that surgery is not necessary in every instance where a root canal is needed; we also offer non-surgical root canals in certain scenarios.

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The Process of a Surgical Root Canal

During your initial consultation, Dr. Loxley will request X-rays. She may prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication to take prior to returning for surgery.

When you return for surgical root canal, the area will be numbed with a strong amount of local anesthetic. Dr. Loxley will cut the gum and move it away from the tooth for easier access to the root. She may have to cut away some of the jaw bone to expose the root tip. Infected surrounding tissues and the edge of the root tip are then removed. After cleaning the canal, filling is placed in it and at the end of the trimmed root. The gum is repositioned and stitched into place.

The location and type of the tooth determines the amount of time an endodontist needs to complete an apicoectomy. Allow 30 to 90 minutes for that part of the process. Dr. Loxley will set a follow-up appointment. If the surgical root canal therapy is successful, the infection will go away very quickly. You will be advised that the bone tissue around the root tip will take a few months to fully heal.

In some cases the infection continues after surgery and the tooth will need to be extracted to prevent damage to other teeth, your jaw, and gums. The problem may be due to a root fracture, which cannot always be detected until after the tooth is pulled or because the pain was ignored quite a while before seeking treatment.

Root canal treatment is no longer the painful process it was in the past. Instead, it is an opportunity to preserve your teeth and beautiful smile. Why not call Santa Rosa Endodontics and set an appointment with Dr. Loxley, DDS, today? Call (707) 595-9797 to book an appointment today. Have a non-urgent question? You may contact us on our website. We look forward to seeing your bright smile!