If you have been informed that you will need an apicoectomy treatment carried out, you may be wondering what it is, exactly. Continue reading for more information to better understand your recommended dental treatment.
Why Do I Need An Apicoectomy?
Apicoectomy treatment is carried out in order to remove the tip of the root of the tooth, known as the apex. The treatment is done when a root canal-treated tooth is still causing pain or discomfort. Typically, during a root canal procedure, the tooth’s nerve is completely removed, and the tooth is filled in order to promote its longevity. In some cases, the root canal fails. A failed root canal can be due to a number of reasons, including:
- Failure to completely remove all infected tissue or the entirety of the nerve
- Newly-developed decay
- Calcification (hardening and narrowing) of the canal
The Apicoectomy Procedure
To begin the procedure, the endodontist (root canal specialist) will numb the area surrounding the tooth with local anesthesia. While the root canal procedure was done directly through the tooth, the apicoectomy will be done directly through the gum. The endodontist will make an incision in the gum that will grant them direct access to the apex, the tip of the root. The infected tissue and the end of the root tips will then be carefully removed. The end of the canal is then thoroughly cleaned and sealed off with a small filling. This is all done with the help of state-of-the-art equipment, such as an advanced microscope and ultrasonic tools. The final filling is placed in order to preserve the work, and to ensure that new decay or infection is unable to form in the tooth. To finish the procedure, the endodontist will place sutures (stitches) to close up the incision in the gum. The entire process is designed to be quick and painless, and in most cases, it allows for the successful preservation and longevity of the tooth.
What To Expect After Treatment
The healing process following an apicoectomy is generally very quick and painless. Some people experience some soreness and swelling in the area directly following the procedure, but this is quite normal. Most modern dental professionals choose to use self-dissolving sutures (stitches), but in the case that your endodontist has placed traditional sutures, you will return to have them remove anywhere from six to ten days following your procedure. Your healing will be closely monitored, and it will be recommended that you refrain from partaking in strenuous activity for at least the first few days. You will be provided with a set of postoperative instructions that your trusted endodontist personally recommends.
While the apicoectomy procedure may sound complicated, it is simply designed to provide a quick and simple solution to a failed root canal. The information you learned here will help you better understand the treatment that has been recommended to you, as well as what you can expect during your time in the chair. Speak with your trusted dental professional at Willow Glen Dental Specialists (WGDS) in order to determine what you can personally expect during your apicoectomy treatment.