What Happens During Root Canal (Apical) Surgery?

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There are three different root canal treatments available. These treatments in order of least complex to most involved are: the traditional root canal procedure which most people are familiar with (and perhaps have experienced), a root canal retreatment and apical surgery (often called apical micro-surgery, an apicoectomy or simply, root canal surgery).

Root Canal surgery is performed only in the case where the root canal and the retreatment did not effectively eliminate the decayed root of the tooth and/or if an infection persists. Root Canal surgery completely removes the infected root tip(s), the deepest portions of the root (called the apex) and any infected surrounding tissue. If you are near Richmond, Virginia and require apical surgery you should understand how East Coast Endodontics conducts this procedure.

  • When you come in for the surgery, we will administer an anesthetic to ensure the procedure is completely painless.
  • We will then make a tiny incision near the impacted tooth to reach the infected area.

Using the latest and best technology (a ceiling-mounted surgical microscope), we will first remove the infected root tip(s), clean, and then remove the infected area, and fill the remaining roots with a concrete like material that ensures a bacteria tight seal and allows bone to heal right against the roots. When this is complete, we will seal the incision with sutures to ensure it remains clean and further infection is not possible. An ice pack is provided to aid in comfort and an antibacterial mouthwash is given to the patient to help the mouth heal as quickly as possible. This procedure typically takes, from beginning to end, between 60 and 120 minutes.

  • When the root canal surgery is complete, we will prescribe pain relief medicine to ensure you stay comfortable with the minor inflammation, potential bruising and possible numbness that can occur during the normal healing process. Healing typically takes 3 to 7 days, but varies from patient to patient and depends on the level of decay and infection prior to the surgery.
  • When you leave our offices it is recommended you spend the remainder of the day resting comfortably at home. Working or being involved in situations which can cause unnecessary stress, even in minor amounts, on your mouth, mind or body can unnecessarily delay healing or cause additional dental issues.
  • Two to three days after the completion of the treatment you will return to our Richmond, Virginia offices to have your sutures removed. At this time, we will provide instructions on additional visits or required care until you are 100% healed. We will also recommend a time when you should visit your dentist for a permanent filling or a crown if necessary.

Dr. Jesse Harris and East Coast Endodontics offers Richmond, Virginia the highest quality root canal surgery, root canals and root canal therapies. To schedule an appointment or to speak with our endodontist about your options, please contact us at: 804.559.3636.