When a tooth is resistant to healing, endodontic surgery (apicoectomy) may be necessary. This type of surgery is used to locate fractures or hidden canals that, while they do not appear on x-rays, still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces and the surrounding bone are also treated with this procedure.
During the surgery, Dr. Duggan will open the gum tissue near the tooth to inspect the underlying bone and remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very tip of the root is usually removed. He will then place a few sutures to close the gums.
Usually a sample of the removed tissue is sent to a lab to be analyzed by a pathologist. This analysis gives Dr. Duggan valuable information about the original cause of the irritation.