At Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio we perform root canal treatment and specialized types of surgery. Drs. Rick Schwartz, Rick Davis and Zac Liang have specialized training in these areas. General dentists and individuals from Texas and even from other states come to Endodontic Consultants of San Antonio for treatment of teeth with infections including some that have failed to heal after initial root canal treatment.
In most cases, root canal treatment restores damaged or infected teeth. Sometimes, a failing root canal procedure may need to be corrected with surgery. The medical term for this procedure is “apicoectomy.” Surgery involves making a small incision along the gumline and lifting the gum tissue to expose the infected site. The infected root tip is removed as well as any inflamed and infected tissues around the root end. In most surgeries a small filling is placed in the end of the root to seal it. The gum tissue is then replaced and a few sutures are placed to stabilize it while it heals. We usually recall surgical patients at least once to monitor healing.
Our doctors may recommend surgery if initial root canal treatment did not eliminate the infection, relieve the pain or in situations where the bone fails to heal. Surgery may be necessary if some of the tooth’s internal anatomy could not be accessed during initial treatment or for teeth in which the infection has caused extensive bone loss. Surgery is sometimes necessary for teeth in which a portion of the root has been dissolved away, a process known as resorption. Occasionally an instrument is broken off in the tooth during initial treatment and surgery may be the only way to retrieve it. In some cases we utilize surgery to identify or biopsy suspicious areas of bone loss.
So, many times, surgery can save a “failing” tooth for which traditional root canal treatment is not enough. Surgery will almost always clear the persistent infection.
The short answer is no. For our surgical patients we make the solemn promise that we will get them completely numb so the surgery will not be the slightest bit painful. The only thing patients “feel” is some discomfort for the initial shots. We minimize it by placing topical anesthetic on the injection sites first and then injecting slowly and gently. We also provide a range of options for relaxing sedation for patients with anxiety. Most patients don’t find sedation necessary, but for those who do, we offer options for mild and moderate sedation, up to putting you to sleep.. Contact our San Antonio, TX team with questions or to schedule an appointment. Call (210) 405-0473 today.