What Is Endodontic Microsurgery?

When you have problems with a tooth, whether it be severe decay, a cracked tooth or a tooth that has had one too many fillings, your dentist will always try non-surgical methods first to repair your tooth. Most of the time, if the problem becomes too severe, the dentist will refer you to a specialist called an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists that only perform root canals or microsurgery on a tooth.

A root canal is the official name of the nonsurgical procedure performed on a tooth to rid it of decay, bacteria and infection. When the soft pulp of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected, an endodontist will clean the canal and use dental filler to preserve the tooth. A tooth that has had a root canal will most likely never need any other type of treatment. However, there are rare instances when non-surgical treatment just isn’t enough, especially when the root is too damaged and infection continues to reoccur. If this happens, surgery is the next option.

Over the years, endodontic procedures have progressed to include advanced technology in microsurgery. Endodontic microsurgery is a surgical procedure that utilizes a state-of-the-art operating microscope and special microsurgical instruments. The increased magnification and lighting on the microscope and other instruments helps to improve visibility, leading to better diagnostic capabilities and precision during the surgical procedure. With the use of endodontic microsurgery, the long-term prognosis of the overall health of the tooth is greatly improved. In addition, recovery time and post-surgical trauma is diminished.

Other Reasons You May Need Endodontic Microsurgery

In some cases, surgery may be used to help diagnosis a condition that is not appearing on x-rays or scans. If you have an infection that is not clearing up after treatment, microsurgical instruments can see even the tiniest fracture in a tooth or other problems that are located in the canal. The endodontist can fix these problems immediately without the need for additional surgery.

Teeth need calcium for good health, but calcium deposits can sometimes attach to the canal causing it to narrow. This can make it difficult for an endodontist to properly clean out the damaged pulp in the canal.  The shaping instruments used during treatment to reach the end of your root cannot maneuver through the narrow canal. If your tooth has this calcification, endodontic microsurgery may be able to clean and seal the remainder of the canal.

If your root and the surrounding bone are too severely damaged, the only way to save your tooth may be surgery. Your endodontist will perform a procedure called an apicoectomy. During this surgery, the gum tissue is opened up and any infected tissue is removed along with the end of the root. Then a small filling will seal the end of the canal and your gums will be stitched back together for better healing. Apicoectomies are not common and are the last resort before an extraction

Is Endodontic Microsurgery Really Necessary?

If your dentist and endodontist are suggesting endodontic microsurgery, it is because they sincerely believe that it is the best option for you. They will discuss all your options with you and you will definitely be a part of the final decision. Make sure you ask questions and voice concerns so that you understand the procedure plus the benefits and risks involved. As with any other surgical procedure, there are no guarantees as to the outcome and recovery period. With that being said, endodontic microsurgery is usually the most effective option, besides a root canal, for maintaining your oral health.

It is always the best option to save your tooth if at all possible. Nothing is better than your natural teeth. The significance for choosing endodontic microsurgery could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for the rest of your life. If you need a root canal or endodontic microsurgery, find an endodontist that is experienced in the latest techniques and has access to the latest technology available for microsurgery. A highly-trained endodontist will greatly improve your outcome and will also greatly reduce any possible risks associated with the procedure.

Dr. Budig is a board-certified endodontist in Overland Park, Kanas. He is one of only five endodontists in Kansas that have this board certification. He has over a decade of experience in dental and endodontic care. If you are in need of a root canal or microsurgery, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Budig. He will work closely with your dentist to make sure you have the best care possible.

Dr. Christopher Budig
Dr. Budig is Overland Park's premier Endodontist. As a Board Certified Diplomate with over a decade of experience, he specializes in providing painless root canal therapy. Using the most advanced technology available, Dr. Budig strives to give his patients a safe and pain free experience.