An endodontist is a dentist who focuses on the care of the teeth, gums and mouth. Endodontists can help treat a wide range of problems, including an abscessed tooth. It is always advisable to seek treatment for an abscessed tooth early. If not treated, this problem can lead to more serious complications. Read on to…
What Is an Apicoectomy Procedure?
An apicoectomy is much like a root canal procedure. In a traditional root canal, the endodontist removes the infected pulp from the root canal space of the tooth. Once the endodontist fills the clean space, the tooth will return to its normal function. Apicoectomy also prevents the root canal from re-infection. If you want to know what apicoectomy is, here are the details.
Apicoectomy lasts for about 30-90 minutes, depending on how complex the case is. During this procedure, the endodontist will inject a local anesthetic in the area. Then, the endodontist will incise the gum near the tooth. The endodontist will push the gum aside to reach the tooth’s root and infected gum tissue. Once there is access to the tooth, the endodontist will remove the infected tissue and a few millimeters of the root.
The endodontist will clean the inside part of the tooth and seal it with a tiny filling. This will prevent any infection from recurring. The endodontist may take another dental X-ray. The scan will make sure that the jaw and tooth look fine. It will also show the endodontist that there are no vulnerable spaces left.
Small stitches will close the gum tissue. Proper wound care will help the gum tissue to grow back. With time, the bone around the sealed root will heal in a few months. As the patient heals, the discomfort and pain will dissipate.
Why a patient needs an apicoectomy
A patient would need this endodontic surgery if the root canal procedure was not successful in clearing infected and necrotic tissues. Re-infection often occurs. It is a sign that the problem is close to the apex or the tip of the root. Endodontists recommend an apicoectomy as a final solution after at least one attempt at a root canal treatment. This procedure preserves the tooth. The alternative to this surgery is the extraction of the tooth.
An apicoectomy is helpful if there are anatomical problems with the root’s tip or crowding of the neighboring root. It can prevent issues that may spread to the neighboring teeth in the future. An endodontist often recommends this procedure to help the patient keep the tooth longer. If this surgery fails, then the patient must undergo a tooth extraction to stop the spread of the infection. By this time, the patient should get a removable denture, dental implant, or fixed bridge.
The recovery period
There will be some swelling and discomfort as the local anesthetic fades. This will go away after about three days. The patient can go back to daily activities after one to two days. Preventing postoperative infection is vital. That is why the endodontist will prescribe antibiotics. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications will help the patient counter the discomfort.
An apicoectomy is a procedure that can save your tooth
Infection in and around the tooth root can cause pain, swelling, and pus accumulation. If a root canal fails, the only remaining options are apicoectomy or dental extraction. An apicoectomy closes off the root by sealing the tooth from the root’s tip. Healing will then happen in the root, gums, and surrounding bone structure. An appointment with your endodontist will start your journey to better oral health.
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