What Is an Apicoectomy?
Most of the time, a root canal treatment can cure any decay and infection in a tooth and save the tooth. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t always go as planned and the same tooth can begin to give you problems again. The infection may not have fully healed or infected debris may still be in the root canal.
When this happens, your dentist may suggest a different dental procedure called an apicoectomy.
What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy - also commonly referred to as root end surgery - is a procedure that takes things a bit further than a root canal treatment. Teeth have very complex root systems with branches and canals, some of which can be very small and tough to access. Even the most thorough root canal can still leave behind some of the infection and bacteria closest to the root. Once it is sealed up, it can continue to grow and invade the spaces within the tooth’s root.
An apicoectomy refers to a surgical procedure in which the tip of the tooth’s root - including all the tiny branches - is removed.
To do this procedure, the dentist will cut and remove gum tissue in order to get to the root. Any infected tissue as well as the tip of the root will then be removed. Before closing it up, the area is cleaned and sealed. A small fitting seals off the end of the root canal to prevent any further infection. Stitches will be required to close up the gum area that was used for access.
It may take a little time, but after the surgery the bone, gums, and area around the root will heal naturally and you will be able to use your tooth as normal.
Risks Associated with an Apicoectomy
While an apicoectomy requires a lot of precision and skill from a dental professional - and are often highly successful - there are a couple of risks that should be mentioned. For instance, sometimes the procedure won’t work and will require the tooth to be extracted. Though, keep in mind, this is a rare situation.
Also, the recovery time for an apicoectomy is a little different than with other dental procedures, such as a root canal. This is primarily because it is more of a surgical procedure. The recovery time is longer, with slight pain for 1 - 2 days. You will sutures that are likely to remain for up to a week. And, bruising and swelling around the portion of the face where the apicoectomy was done is not uncommon. All in all, full recovery for this procedure can take a couple of weeks.
The end result - a pain-free mouth and a saved tooth - is well worth it.
Contact Elite Endodontics of NH with Root Canal and Apicoectomy Needs
Having an apicoectomy may not be on the top of your bucket list, but it can be a tooth-saving procedure. If you have had a root canal treatment and are still feeling pain or sensitivity in the tooth, an apicoectomy may be needed.
The thorough and experienced staff at Elite Endodontics of NH can examine your tooth and make the best determination for treatment.
Ready to get started? Call our office today at 603-882-5455.
Or, book an appointment online.