Forest Lake Endodontics

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1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Practice Logo
1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025

What Is The Difference Between A Root Canal & Apical Surgery?

March 19, 2024
What Is The Difference Between A Root Canal & Apical Surgery?

When it comes to endodontic treatment, there are surgical and non-surgical options. The type of treatment is determined by the situation and the patient’s individual needs. The most common non-surgical endodontic treatment is root canal therapy and the most common surgical endodontic treatment is an apicoectomy. 

What is Root Canal Therapy? 

Root canal therapy is the process of removing the dental pulp from the inside of the tooth. The dental pulp is the soft tissue at the center of each tooth, contained in the root canal. During a root canal all of the dental pulp is removed, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected, and then it is filled with a replacement material which seals the canal. In most cases the final step is to place a crown over the tooth for protection from further infection, if it’s not already crowned.

Why is Root Canal Therapy Necessary? 

The dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves, making it susceptible to infection. Bacteria can enter the root canal through a crack or a deep cavity in a tooth, resulting in an infection. Root canal therapy can eliminate the infection and prevent the tooth from being reinfected. 

What is Apical Surgery? 

In some cases an infected tooth requires surgery. An apicoectomy is a procedure that involves access beneath the gum tissue to treat the root of a tooth. In most cases the tip of the root, the apex, is removed. The root canal tip is cleaned out and disinfected, and a filling is placed into the tip of the root. This prevents reinfection of the tooth through the root. 

Why is Apical Surgery Necessary? 

Apical surgery may be necessary if root canal therapy was unsuccessful, a cyst is present, or if there is damage to the root of the tooth that requires access under the gum tissue. In some cases the root of a tooth begins to break down due to injury or infection, and apical surgery can often stop the deterioration and reverse the effects. 

Which Type of Treatment Do I Need?

If you have a tooth that is in need of endodontic treatment, you will need to have an evaluation to determine what the best course of treatment would be. Your endodontist will most likely take X-Rays , such as a CBCT, of your teeth in order to view the inside of the tooth and under the gums. Treatment will be planned accordingly to give you the best chance that your tooth can be saved. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals and Apical Surgery 

Will I feel any pain with either procedure? 

Local anesthesia is used to numb the nerves in the area being treated so that you feel no pain. If you feel nervous or anxious about the procedure, we offer sedation options to help make your experience more relaxing and stress-free. 

Are these procedures worth it, or can I just have the tooth pulled? 

It is always in the best interest of your oral health to have root canal therapy or apical surgery to save the tooth. When your natural tooth remains in place it can function more effectively and preserve your smile. Leaving a gap in your mouth can cause your other teeth to shift out of place and replacing the tooth is a more expensive procedure. 

Schedule a Consultation Today 

If you have a toothache or your dentist has recommended that you see an endodontist, schedule a consultation with Forest Lake Endodontics today. We provide high quality endodontic care for the best chance of saving your natural teeth. We offer GentleWave technology for root canal therapy that makes the procedure more comfortable with faster recovery. 

To learn more, call 651-464-9888 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Forest Lake Endodontics
1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a
Forest Lake, MN 55025
Tel: 651-464-9888 | Fax: 651-464-0090
Monday | 8am - 5pm
Tuesday | 8am - 5pm
Wednesday | 8am - 5pm
Thursday | 8am - 5pm
Friday | 8am - 3pm
Saturday | Closed
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Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

1420 Lake Street S. Suite 200a Forest Lake, MN 55025
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