Endodontic Surgery vs. Root Canal: What's the Difference?
Endodontic surgery and root canals are valuable dental procedures that help to eliminate infections inside the tooth and root system. Endodontic surgery, also known as apical microsurgery, focuses on the tip of the tooth's root. A root canal is a non-surgical procedure that deals with infection or inflammation inside the tooth's crown and root. Both procedures can save natural teeth from extraction by treating severe tooth pain and infection.
This blog will explain the difference between these procedures and help you understand the need for each one.
A root canal relieves pain and eliminates infection inside the tooth. It is a routine endodontic procedure that involves removing the infected pulp and nerve tissue from the crown and root structure. The endodontist cleans and disinfects the tooth's interior, reaching into the root canals with special files.
Our practice uses the GentleWave system in most root canal procedures. This system uses powerful liquid irrigation plus broad-spectrum ultrasonic acoustic energy to clean the interior surfaces of your tooth and promote healing.
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
- Recurring tooth pain, especially when chewing
- Heat and cold sensitivity
- Tooth discoloration
- Gum swelling and pus
- Cracked or chipped tooth
- A tooth that feels loose
Sometimes a standard root canal procedure does not clear infections in the root tip, especially when the patient has narrower canals. Endodontic surgery focuses on the area around the root tip or apex.
In our practice, we use microsurgery techniques to ensure the safety and effectiveness of our procedures. Endodontic surgery can spot tiny tooth fractures, reach the tip of narrow roots, and repair root surface and bone damage.
Types of Endodontic Surgery
- Apicoectomy: This procedure is also called a root-end resection. The doctor removes the apex and treats the infection inside.
- Root Resorption: Occasionally, the body absorbs a tooth's root. Root resorption surgery involves repairing the resorption defect.
- Hemisection: This procedure sections the tooth and removes the cracked root and infection associated with it.
Do I Need Endodontic Surgery?
You may need this type of surgery if you have the following:
- Pain and gum swelling that recurs in a tooth that previously had a root canal
- Severe, continuous tooth pain
- Sudden tooth discoloration
- A lump on your gum that produces pus
Why Choose an Endodontist?
If you have symptoms that indicate you need a root canal, an endodontist should be your first choice. Endodontists have performed thousands of these procedures and are more likely to resolve the infection, lowering the need for future endodontic surgery.
Call Forest Lake Endodontics
Putting off a root canal or endodontic surgery can lead to health consequences. If you have a sore tooth or any of the symptoms listed above, please call Forest Lake Endodontics at 651-464-9888. We can help relieve your pain and may save your natural tooth from extraction.