Surgical root canal treatment involves a variety of surgical procedures that help save an infected or damaged tooth. It is not as common as nonsurgical root canal. Ukiah endodontist Dr. Emine Loxley recommends surgery only when necessary. The procedure is faster and more comfortable in recent years because of technological developments like operating microscopes and digital imaging.
One example of surgical root canal is a root-end resection, formally known as an apicoectomy. This micro-surgical process is often a solution for treating infection or inflammation that persists after a non-surgical root canal treatment. The gum tissue near the teeth is cut open to provide access to the bony area under the tooth. The very end of the root is removed along with infected and inflamed tissues.
Specialized endodontic surgery also helps the endodontist to find and treat previously hidden canals and small fractures. The ultimate goal is to preserve the patient’s natural teeth with as little stress and discomfort as possible.
Non-surgical root canal is the most common type of root canal treatment. It’s much like having a filling, except the endodontist has to drill deeper into the tooth. Either Ukiah endodontist Dr. Loxley or one of her assistants numbs the area with anesthetic to reduce or eliminate the discomfort of drilling.
Endodontic treatment refers to specialized care for the inside of a tooth. Although we can’t see what’s wrong, the pain lets us know it is time to set an appointment to get it taken care of quickly. The endodontist removes the infected pulp and disinfects the inside of the tooth and the canals. Gutta-percha, which resembles rubber, is used to fill and seal the tooth. It’s then covered with a filling or a crown to protect it.
Endodontists look for the underlying cause of the problem. Trauma, deep decay, faulty crowns, and a small fracture can cause infection inside a tooth and the attached root canals. The restored tooth recovers quickly and usually lasts for years.
Endodontics is a specialized field of advanced dentistry designed to preserve natural teeth instead of pulling them out. Patients who undergo a non-surgical root canal that fails to end inflammation or infection have another chance to save the tooth if they qualify for endodontic root canal retreatment.
Ukiah endodontist Dr. Emine Loxley reopens the tooth and removes the filling from the first root canal treatment. She checks again for any additional canals or fractures that can cause continued or new infection or inflammation. A surgical operating microscope helps locate previously undetected complications. Special tools permit reshaping and cleaning the narrow canals, which are then flushed to remove particles and infection.
After completing the root canal retreatment, the canals are filled and resealed. A temporary filling covers the opening until the patient sees the dentist for the tooth’s final restoration.
Primary (baby) teeth need dental care because problems are easily transferred to the permanent teeth that lie below them. Ukiah endodontist Dr. Emine Loxley has the skill and knowledge to identify and treat trauma or decay in young children’s teeth. Root induction is one method for treating the loss of nourishing pulp in immature teeth.
Apexogenisis is a type of root induction that encourages root tip development after the pulp chamber and canals are cleaned and disinfected. Because the pulp is allowed to heal, the tooth has a better chance to develop.
Another type of root induction is apexification. Partially developed teeth may have an open tip at the end of the root. Unhealthy pulp is removed. A temporary filling is placed near the bottom of the root to make a barrier to keep medication inside the canal. The process involves several visits and may result in root surgery or extraction.