What is endodontic surgery?
Endodontic surgery (or Apicoectomy) involves making an incision in the gums near the root of the infected tooth; infected tissue is removed and a filling is placed in the end of the root (retrofill). The gum tissue is then sutured and the tooth and surrounding tissue heals.
Other surgeries endodontists might perform include dividing a tooth in half, repairing an injured root, or even removing one or more roots. Dr. Starr will be happy to discuss the specific type of surgery your tooth requires.
Will the procedure hurt?
Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable. Dr. Starr will recommend appropriate pain medication to alleviate any post-operative discomfort.
Can I drive myself home?
Whether you choose to have a driver available is up to you. We will not use any anesthetics which would make it unsafe for you to drive home.
When can I return to my normal activities?
Most patients return to work or other routine activities the next day. We will be happy to discuss your expected recovery time with you.
Does insurance cover endodontic surgery?
Each insurance plan is different. Check with your insurance company or plan coverages prior to treatment.
How do I know the surgery will be successful?
Your dentist (or Dr. Starr) is suggesting endodontic surgery because he/she believes it is the best option for saving your own natural tooth. Of course, there are no guarantees with any surgical procedure. Dr. Starr will discuss your chances for success so that you can make an informed decision.
What are the alternatives to endodontic surgery?
Often, the only alternative to surgery is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with an implant, bridge, or removable partial denture to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these alternatives require surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, endodontic surgery is usually the most biologic and cost-effective option for maintaining your oral health.