Sometimes a root canal is not enough to save a tooth that's infected. This can happen for several reasons, including the shape of the roots, which could be curved in some patients. When our dentist can't reach the very ends of the root, you may need a resection.
How Root Resection Works
In general, a root canal needs to happen before we consider performing a root resection. Aside from the shape of your roots, other factors determine the need for a root resection, also known as an apicoectomy. These include calcium deposits that prevent us from reaching the very tip of the root for treatment.
To perform an apicoectomy, our dentist makes an incision in the gum to expose the infected root. Then he or she flushes out the infected tissue, and a removes a portion of the root. In some cases, we may add a filling to protect the tip of the root and put some stitches in to seal the site and allow the tissue to heal correctly.
Our goal in putting you through this procedure is to save your natural tooth. When we choose this option is because we think it's the best choice for your case.
When to Use Root Resection
Root canals have a high rate of success, but in some instances, they can fail. When the infection by the root canal has not been completely removed, the procedure will not be successful, and symptoms can develop years after the original root canal.
It is not uncommon for a patient to come in with a tooth that has had an infection for years without any symptoms or very mild discomfort. Some have not even had a root canal to fix the problem. Whether you've had your tooth treated in the past or even have mild discomfort by the root of your tooth, you may need a root resection.