Past The Root Of The Problem: What You Didn't Know About Endodontic Surgery

You know what an endodontist is -- the person you see when a simple filling just won't do, and you have to go all the way to a root canal in order to get some peace of...gum. But what about when even a root canal might not be the answer? What are you supposed to do when the endodontist rolls up their sleeves and goes to plan B? If you're wondering exactly what you don't know about endodontics beyond root canals, then here's what you need to know.

Plan B is called endodontic surgery

Endodontic surgery generally deals with problems a bit above your normal dentist's pay grade (more on the specific problems below). Endodontists spend an extra two years training in their specialty to ensure that they're the best at what they do -- and they do it over and over again, with an average of around 25 treatments a week. The most common kind of endodontic surgery is called an apicoectomy, where your endodontist will remove the very end of your tooth's root, along with any inflamed tissue that might be lurking down there. This helps get rid of any inflammation or infection that might have occurred after you had a root canal done.

It's mostly tried after multiple root canals

That's right -- in case your tooth-related nightmares weren't scary enough already, it turns out you can have multiple root canals done on the same tooth. However, when even this measure fails, it's time to prep for surgery. There are many reasons why a root canal might not be enough -- sometimes the fissures are too small to work with outside of surgery, sometimes your tooth will have calcium deposits that need to be removed, and sometimes the damage will go all the way to the jawbone and you'll need surgery to correct it.

It's designed to save your tooth

Your endodontist won't recommend treatment just for fun or to line their pockets; endodontic surgery, when performed, is necessary to help save your tooth. Besides apicoectomies, your endodontist could also recommend a procedure where the entire problem tooth is removed, treated with whatever it needs, and then replaced -- wholesale -- in your mouth. It's just as impressive as it sounds, too -- after all, you probably can't imagine a doctor removing an arm bone to heal it!

Root canals used to be the boogeymen of the dental world, but with better technology and anesthesia, you'll only feel the slight discomfort that comes with any dental procedure. So when you walk into the office of an endodontist, like Dodson Endodontics, smile wide -- your teeth are in excellent hands.