Recovery from a Surgical Root Canal

surgical root canal arlingtonA routine root canal is a non-surgical procedure used to work on the interior of an infected tooth. Sometimes this is not sufficient, however, to treat infection or other problems affecting the roots and root canal. In these cases, a surgical root canal might be necessary.

What is a Surgical Root Canal?

A standard root canal procedure involves removing infected soft tissue in the interior of the tooth. Sometimes this type of infection spreads into the surrounding bone tissue or is present in the root tips. The root canal itself can sometimes have complex branches that are difficult to access, as well, making it hard to remove all the existing infected tissue.

 In these cases, a surgical root canal might be necessary to completely remove the infection. 

In these cases, a surgical root canal might be necessary to completely remove the infection. In this procedure, the endodontist removes gum tissue to expose the jawbone, then makes a hole in the bone to access the infected tissue. The endodontist removes the infected area, then cuts off the tip of the root, since the infection generally spreads from inside the tooth root. The hole in the root tip is filled, then the bone tissue is allowed to heal. This procedure is also referred to as an apicoectomy.

What Will My Recovery Be Like?

Most patients recover fairly quickly after a surgical root canal. You’ll probably be prescribed antibiotics and painkillers to prevent infection and to minimize discomfort while you heal. If there is any swelling, you can use ice packs to reduce it. You should rest for a day or two, as well, to give your body time to heal. Any stitches in your gums will be removed after a few days. Your endodontist will provide instructions for aftercare, and you should follow these instructions closely to ensure effective healing.

If you experience any signs of infection, such as fever, swelling, or discomfort after the first few days, see your dentist as soon as possible. Although the bone tissue can take quite some time to completely grow back, your basic recovery time should be about two weeks.

To schedule an appointment with our skilled endodontist, Dr. Jill Peterson, contact our office today.