Endodontic Health of Palo Alto

‚ÄčTri Huynh, DDS, PhD


What is an Apicoectomy (Endodontic Surgery)? 

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save a tooth with an injured pulp. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be adequate to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend endodontic surgery, also known as apicoectomy.

Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth.  Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure.  An apicoectomy, or root-end resection, is the most common surgery used to save damaged teeth.

An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with a small amount of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured back into place. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals.  This is normal for any surgical procedure.  To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended.  If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office at 650-433-1215. The sutures will be removed after several days, and we will see you for an additional follow-up appointment several weeks later.