Most often, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with damaged pulp. In some cases, your endodontist may recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can help locate fractures or hidden canals that can’t be seen on X-rays and treat damaged root surfaces. The most common endodontic surgery is an apicoectomy, or root-end resection.

The procedure begins with an incision in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed as well as a small amount of the root tip. A root-end filling is then placed to prevent reinfection of the root, and the gum is sutured.

Following the procedure, you may experience some discomfort or mild swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure, and your doctor will give you specific instructions upon discharge.