Our Endodontic Services

Pulpectomy and Apicoectomy

What's The Difference Between A Surgical And Non-Surgical Root Canal?

A standard, non-surgical root canal is known as a “pulpectomy.” In this treatment, your tooth will be treated and cleaned to remove the damaged and decayed pulp, but no surgery is required to eliminate the infection.

A surgical root canal, on the other hand, involves a pulpectomy as well as an “apicoectomy,” which is a surgical procedure used to remove the tips of your tooth’s root, and eliminate any remaining infection from your mouth.

What Can I Expect From A Surgical Root Canal?

  • Cleaning and numbing the mouth – First, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed, and you can also be sedated for your comfort. This ensures you won’t feel any pain during the pulpectomy and apicoectomy process.
  • Root canal retreatment – If you’re getting root canal retreatment, your crown or filling will need to be removed, then one of our dentists will redo your pulpectomy to remove the “gutta percha” filling inside your tooth, as well as any pulp that may have been missed during the initial root canal therapy process.
  • Apicoectomy – Next, a very small incision will be made near the base of your troublesome tooth. Advanced equipment and a special microscope will be used to remove any infected tissue, and the tips of the tooth root. Then, the ends of the tooth roots will be cleaned and sealed, and the area will be sutured shut to heal.
  • Filling & Covering The Tooth – If root canal retreatment was necessary, your tooth will be filled once again, and covered with a filling or a temporary crown to protect it until a permanent crown can be built to restore your tooth.

What Is An Apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is meant as a “last resort” treatment for infected teeth that can’t be treated with root canal therapy alone. In most cases, a surgical root canal with an apicoectomy won’t be recommended as your first treatment at ONE ENDO.

Instead, a standard, non-surgical root canal will be done by one of our doctors. In the vast majority of cases, this is all that is required to eliminate a tooth infection and restore your oral health. A surgical root canal will only be needed if this initial endodontic treatment fails to completely remove the source of the infection. 

An apicoectomy involves surgically removing the tips of your tooth root, and replacing them with an inert, stable material. This is done using advanced dental tools, and will eliminate any bacteria remaining in the roots of your teeth. 

Does It Take Longer To Recover From A Surgical Root Canal?

Yes. Because an apicoectomy involves an incision into your gum tissue, unlike a non-surgical root canal (pulpectomy), it will take longer to heal and recover from a surgical root canal.

In contrast to a non-surgical root canal, which usually requires only a day or two to heal, it may take up to a few weeks for you to heal from an apicoectomy. 

Diagram of a cracked tooth

What Kind Of Aftercare Should I Pursue After My Surgery?

Your dentist at ONE ENDO will provide you with a comprehensive set of recovery instructions. You’ll want to avoid directly brushing the surgical site for a few days, limit exercise and heavy exertion, and use medications and ice packs to help with discomfort after surgery. Follow your dentist’s instructions closely to make sure you heal and recover properly after your pulpectomy and apicoectomy. 

Did You Know…

Sports are one of the most common causes of dental trauma, and wearing an athletic mouthguard while playing sports can dramatically reduce your chance of a dental injury. If you play a contact sport, work with your dentist to get a custom mouthguard to protect your smile. If you want more information regarding our services, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

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