Root End Surgery
Usually, an X-ray will identify that a blockage exists in the canal which is preventing access, treatment, and correction of the problem which can only be accessed by treating the root tips directly. During surgery, the root end is identified in the bone and a small amount of it (about 3mm) is shaved off (an apicoectomy). The root end is then prepared and a filling placed to seal the canal to prevent leakage and further contamination.
Digital Radiography is replacing conventional dental x-rays and provides several benefits to patients. A small sensor instead of the film used in conventional x-rays transmits the image taken to a computer monitor. This requires less radiation exposure; roughly one-tenth the dose of conventional radiographs. It also provides digital adjustment to further diagnose the pathologic condition and affords the patient a highly visible image to assist in their understanding of their problem and its resolution.
Enhanced visibility provided by loupes and fiber optic illumination as well as surgical operating microscopes has opened up new vistas for the treatment of both non-surgical and surgical endodontics. Due to improvements in illumination and high magnification optics, calcified or blocked canals that may have gone undetected can now be located. Additionally, retreatment of endodontic cases can now be managed with greater efficiency and success.
It is important that you understand what you will feel after treatment and more important to know what you need to do to ensure a successful outcome for your treatment.
The sensations you will experience after treatment are mediated by several factors. Our experience has shown that if there was pain prior to treatment, there will be a degree of pain that will persist for a few days after the procedure. Remember that pain radiates. It is not unusual during the healing phase to feel sensations not related to the area of the treated tooth or even to feel pain when there was none prior to treatment.
Often there is minimal discomfort for a few days after treatment, however, an increase in the intensity of discomfort may occur two to three days later and persist for a period of two or three days. This is considered normal, a function of how the body’s immune response protects it from foreign materials and the inflammation produced by the mechanics of the root canal procedure. A little swelling or soreness does not mean infection; it means an increase in blood volume going to the area to assist in the healing process.
Try to avoid heavy chewing on the treated tooth for at least a week. We strongly recommend that you return to your dentist and have the entire filling replaced within a one to two week period. All fillings can leak, and their replacement becomes an important part of the success of the root canal treatment.