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Largo Endodontics

What Is an Abscessed Tooth? Do I Have One?

If you’re dealing with tooth or jaw pain, you might be wondering whether you have an abscessed tooth. Or perhaps you’ve heard the term elsewhere but aren’t sure exactly what it means.

At Largo Endodontics, we want all our patients to understand their dental health, including terms like this one. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about abscessed teeth: what they are, what the signs of an abscessed tooth look like, and what to do if you think you have one.

What Is an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth is one where the pulp inside the tooth root dies and becomes infected without treatment. The infection at the tooth’s root can be quite painful, or it may not cause pain at all.

The term is sometimes misused to refer to tooth pain generically. But a true periapical abscess (that’s one at the base or tip of the tooth root) is something more specific, requiring the presence of a bacterial infection and the pocket or abscess of pus that comes with the infection.

A tooth abscess can form when bacteria reaches the pulp of the tooth, almost always from a dental cavity or other damage to the tooth surface (such as cracked teeth from an accident or prior dental work). If the bacterial infection spreads through the tooth and all the way to the root, it may cause an abscess.

 

Are Abscessed Teeth Dangerous?

They can be. Bacterial infections often spread if untreated. An infection that spreads through your jaw or to other parts of your head can become serious, even life-threatening.

But even if an abscess does not rupture or spread, it will not heal on its own. Once an abscess forms, you will need dental or endodontic treatment if you want to fix the root cause. Roughly 80% of root canals performed today are due to tooth abscesses, though this isn’t the only possible solution.

 

What Are the Signs of an Abscessed Tooth?

There are many signs that could point to an abscessed tooth. Cold sensitivity can mean any number of things, including the beginnings of a dental abscess forming. These are some of the other signs that could point to a dental abscess:

  • Severe toothache that doesn’t go away and that could radiate to other parts of the head
  • Sensitivity to temperature extremes
  • Sensitivity to chewing or biting pressure
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the face, cheek, or surrounding lymph nodes
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing (in severe cases)

Sometimes, an abscess can rupture, which can provide temporary relief from pain. If you notice a sudden, unexplained presence of unpleasant fluid in your mouth (it will smell and taste terrible but also salty), you’ve probably experienced a ruptured abscess.

Some of these symptoms on their own could be nearly anything, but if you’re experiencing several or any of the more serious ones, you should contact your dentist right away.

 

What Should I Do if I Think I Have an Abscessed Tooth?

If you have any of the signs of an abscessed tooth, you should see your dentist or endodontist right away. Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist like us for a consultation or for a root canal procedure.

Please note that if you have a fever combined with facial swelling and cannot make contact with your dental provider, you should go to an emergency room. The urgency increases if you’re having difficulty breathing or swallowing. While the problem could be an abscessed tooth, emergency care can rule out other more life-threatening possibilities.

 

How Are Dental Abscesses Typically Treated?

Often the treatment for an abscessed tooth takes the form of a root canal, which saves much of your tooth while removing the infected pulp and roots. Sometimes the tooth cannot be saved and a dentist or endodontist must extract the tooth. Also, if the nerves and tooth pulp are not yet fully dead, sometimes the tooth can be saved by other means, avoiding a root canal procedure.

The only way to be certain what steps to take for an abscessed tooth is to visit a qualified endodontist, who can help you form a treatment plan.

 

Largo Endodontics: Your Source for Endodontic Treatment in Largo and Greater St. Petersburg

If you have or suspect you have endodontic needs in the Largo and greater St Petersburg, Florida, area, Largo Endodontics is here to serve you. We offer root canal services, often the treatment of choice for abscessed teeth, in addition to numerous other endodontic services.

Our professional team is ready to serve you. Call 727-399-2969 or reach out today to schedule a consult.

 

Easing Your Fear of the Dentist

Do you get nervous, even fearful, when it’s time to visit the dentist? Maybe you even experience other more intense symptoms of anxiety, like shortness of breath, upset stomach, weakness, or trembling.

If so, you’re dealing with fear of the dentist, or dental anxiety.

 

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety describes a person who deals with dental fear that triggers episodes or symptoms of anxiety. More than just a mild fear of the dentist, dental anxiety can make otherwise routine and pain-free dental appointments into traumatic experiences.

It’s also not rare—not even a little bit. According to one peer-reviewed 2014 study published in Medical Principles and Practice, 36% of adults experience dental anxiety, and 12% experience it to an “extreme” degree.

The trouble with dental anxiety is that many patients who deal with it avoid dental care. This becomes a vicious cycle: patients fear dental care and avoid routine visits. Then their dental health degrades so that an eventual visit to the dentist requires more intense (less pleasant) treatments. And those treatments then reinforce the patient’s dental anxiety!

Breaking this cycle is an important step for patients who want to reclaim or maintain their oral health—and who don’t want to face crippling anxiety as they do it.

 

How to Ease Your Fear of the Dentist

Just like with other forms of anxiety, there is no foolproof method that works for everyone. But using some combination of the tactics below, you can begin to lower your dental anxiety and ease your dental fear.

 

Talk to Your Dentist Ahead of Time

Many people don’t realize how common dental anxiety is, so they can be afraid to admit that they are dealing with it. But if more than 1/3 of the dentists patients experience dental anxiety, chances are your dentist has seen it before.

If your dentist knows that you’re dealing with anxiety, he or she can take steps to reassure you throughout your dental appointment.

 

Visit the Office Ahead of Time

Here at Largo Endodontics, we regularly see patients come in days or weeks prior to their appointment to discuss their fears and concerns. You can schedule a consult with your dentist and tour the office. By getting to know the doctor and the office, you can feel more at ease when it’s time for your actual appointment.

 

Choose from an Array of Comfort Measures

Comfort might not be the first word you think of when you imagine going to the dentist, but with Largo Endodontics, you’ll have an array of comfort measures to choose from. We allow you to listen to music using your own headphones during any procedure. We also offer TVs with headphones to keep your mind focused on something else. You can even ask for a warm, soft blanket to help you relax, or dark glasses to reduce the intensity of overhead lights.

 

Consider Halcion Oral Sedation

Some dental procedures do cause pain, which is why dentists have relied on local anesthetics for many years. And while anesthetics do mask physical pain, they typically don’t do anything to help patients with their dental anxiety.

One option that can address both physical pain and dental anxiety is Halcion oral sedation. Halcion (triazolam) is an oral sedative that patients take one to two hours before their appointment. Patients remain conscious and awake, but they enter a very relaxed, drowsy state.

Most patients who use Halcion also experience minor, short-term amnesia lasting around two hours. In other words, you probably won’t remember anything about the dental procedure afterward! And you’ll be so physically relaxed before and during the procedure that you won’t care what the dentist is doing.

Be aware that choosing oral sedation means you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You’ll also need to disclose any current medications to your dentist to be sure there are no negative interactions.

 

Keep the End Goal in Mind — Pain-Free Teeth

Lastly, as you work through dental anxiety, it’s important to keep the end goal in mind. Here at Largo Endodontics, we want the same thing that you want — healthy, pain-free teeth. Root canals relieve the pain that many patients are experiencing. And with the right sedative and anesthetic approach, the procedure itself is often pain-free.

The best way to relieve dental anxiety is to relieve dental pain. And the fastest way to do that is to schedule a consultation today.

Ready to find relief from an endodontist that cares about your dental anxiety? Largo Endodontics is here to help.

Why See an Endodontist for Dental Trauma

When you have a tooth injury, you might worry about losing the affected tooth permanently and needing to have it replaced. While these injuries can be severe, such as having a tooth knocked out or fractured, seeing an endodontist can help you save your tooth. Endodontists are able to perform root canals to save teeth that have been affected by dental trauma. Find out more about why you should schedule a visit with an endodontist for tooth injuries.

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Pregnancy and Root Canals – Is It Safe?

One question we receive frequently from pregnant patients is whether various types of dental and endodontic care are safe during pregnancy. Are you facing an upcoming root canal or other dental treatment during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.

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Are Sensitive Teeth a Sign I Need a Root Canal?

You might have sensitive teeth occasionally, such as when cold air hits your teeth outside or when you’re drinking a hot beverage. Eating ice cream or other cold foods might also cause your teeth to feel sensitive. When you have sensitivity that is severe or doesn’t go away with other treatments, a root canal might help.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

You can develop sensitive teeth for different reasons, including grinding your teeth or brushing too hard, which can damage tooth enamel. Sensitive teeth can also occur if you eat or drink foods and beverages that have a high acidic content on a regular basis, such as citrus fruits and soda, since these wear away tooth enamel. Having certain underlying conditions, such as acid reflux, can also raise your risk of having tooth sensitivity.

Dental problems that expose the dentin inside teeth, such as broken teeth and tooth decay, can also make them more sensitive. Having crowns or fillings that are worn down can lead to sensitive teeth as well. You can also develop sensitivity if you have your teeth bleached or whitened, although this is only temporary.

In some cases, tooth roots can become exposed due to receding gums or gum disease. Injuries and misaligned teeth can also lead to exposed tooth roots. When these roots are exposed, the nerves inside them can react to heat and cold. You might feel a sharp, sudden pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold, or you might experience a mild ache.

Without effective treatment, you might have persistent sensitivity that doesn’t go away when you’re done eating or drinking. Your dentist might have you try using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and take other measures to ease this discomfort. For example, you might find relief by managing underlying medical conditions, such as acid reflux, or having gum grafts done for receding gums. You might benefit from having a root canal to treat tooth sensitivity if other measures aren’t working.

How a Root Canal Can Help

Endodontists perform root canals to remove decayed or damaged pulp inside teeth. This pulp contains nerves that can cause tooth sensitivity. Removing the pulp and disinfecting tooth roots can provide immediate and long-term relief from sensitivity. During root canals, endodontists take out any decayed or damaged pulp, then thoroughly clean the canal. The next steps involve filling and sealing the affected tooth and putting a temporary filling in place. After the tooth heals, a permanent filling replaces the temporary one.

When you have a root canal done, you won’t have exposed tooth roots that cause sensitivity anymore. After having this procedure done, you should be able to eat and drink hot and cold beverages and foods without experiencing discomfort. Keep in mind that taking good care of your teeth can help lower your risk of developing sensitivity and needing additional root canals done.

When to Consider a Root Canal for Sensitive Teeth

When should you look into having a root canal to ease tooth sensitivity? This might be the right treatment option for you if other kinds of treatments haven’t been effective, such as desensitizing toothpaste. When you’ve tried other treatments and still have frequent or severe sensitivity, your dentist might recommend seeing an endodontist. Endodontists can evaluate your teeth and determine if a root canal is the best treatment for tooth sensitivity.

If you have sensitive teeth that are causing ongoing pain or discomfort, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, can perform a root canal to provide you with relief.

Tooth Pain and Sinus Infections: Are They Linked?

Just about no matter where you live, springtime is beautiful. There’s new life everywhere you turn, and all sorts of plants and flowers are coming into bloom. This is especially true here in the Largo/Clearwater area of sunny Florida.

Unfortunately, all that growth has a huge downside for many Floridians: seasonal allergies and sinus issues. When the world explodes with color and new growth, it explodes with pollen and other allergens, too. And seasonal allergies can be far worse than just a runny nose. They can develop into serious sinus pressure and even sinus infections.

Why does any of this matter for us at Largo Endodontics? Because there’s a close relationship between the sinuses and the teeth, given how close they are in the anatomy.

We also see these issues crop up in our patients, who are sometimes unsure about the root cause of their tooth pain or sinus infection.

To help clarify what’s going on here, we’ve produced this short blog post on the connections between tooth pain and sinus issues.

 

Understanding Dental Pain

Pain is often a strange thing. Some forms of pain are extremely direct: you burn your hand on the stove, and it hurts exactly where you burned it. Sometimes the cause of the pain is obvious, too (again, like when you burn your hand on the stove).

But other forms of pain can be inconsistent and even confusing. Many of us have experienced seemingly random abdominal or chest pain from time to time that doesn’t seem tied to any particular trigger, nor can we say precisely what body part or organ is hurting. And that’s to say nothing of chronic pain conditions.

Sinus pain and dental pain are often more like the latter: inconsistent and not always particularly clear. Yes, there are times where the pain is direct and the source is obvious, such as when you feel a tooth break. But many times, the connection isn’t so clear. Some patients even experience mild dental pain that has no apparent source and that may diminish on its own over time.

 

The Connection Between Sinus Issues and Dental Pain

To further complicate matters, there’s a close connection between your sinuses and your teeth. Your maxillary sinuses and the back of your teeth are extremely close, and it’s not uncommon for there to be some overlap or interchange between these systems.

Tooth Pain from a Sinus Infection

It’s not uncommon for dentists to see a patient complaining of a toothache when there’s nothing at all wrong with the tooth. The patient is simply dealing with an acute sinus infection, and tooth pain is one of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

This kind of scenario is pretty much good news all around. Deal with the sinus infection and the tooth pain will vanish. Still, the tooth pain can be intense enough that patients are completely convinced something is wrong with their tooth. Like we said above, dental pain can be inconsistent and confusing.

On the other side of the equation is a far worse possibility. Just like a toothache can be a symptom of a sinus infection, an undiagnosed dental infection can also cause sinus pain and even develop into a sinus infection.

 

Tooth Infection Causing a Sinus Infection

When a tooth infection causes sinus pain or even develops into a sinus infection, treating the sinus issues won’t solve the problem. You may manage to clear the sinus infection temporarily. But until the tooth infection is dealt with, the sinus issues are likely to just keep coming back.

Taking antibiotics for a sinus infection may even knock back the infection in the tooth. But without further endodontic treatment, you won’t fully heal the tooth, and the infection will gradually return.

 

Maybe It’s Not Just Allergies

Some folks regularly struggle with allergies, sinus infections, and even perhaps intermittent tooth pain. If your struggles don’t seem particularly seasonal or you have recurring sinus problems along with tooth pain, the wisest course of action is to visit an endodontist to make sure your issues aren’t resulting from a tooth infection.

You may still need to visit an ENT to deal with a serious sinus issue. But you want to make sure you’ve resolved any underlying cause, like an undiagnosed tooth infection.

 

Largo Endodontics Can Resolve Your Tooth Infection

Are you on the fence about whether your sinus infection or sinus pain may be connected to a tooth infection? Largo Endodontics is here to help. Dr. Rillman, along with our expert team, will complete a thorough examination of your teeth and gums and develop a clear plan of action if you’re dealing with tooth pain resulting from a tooth infection.

Got questions? Reach out today!

 

Medical Article Resource:
Diagnosing odontogenic sinusitis: An international multidisciplinary consensus statement – Craig – – International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology – Wiley Online Library

Tips for Caring for Your Root Canal Post-Op

When you need a root canal for tooth decay or other dental problems, you might be nervous about this procedure. Root canals are done in a way that minimizes discomfort, but what can you expect afterward? Since this procedure is an invasive one, it’s important to know how to care for your tooth post-op. The following information on post-op care can help you understand what to expect after having a root canal.

 

Taking Medication

Will you need to take any medication after your procedure? You might have some pain and swelling afterward, which is normal as localized anesthesia wears off. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever should help ease this discomfort. Swelling and pain after root canals are only temporary and should be minor. Depending on the condition of your tooth, you might need to take prescription antibiotics. These are typically used to treat infections in teeth, so they don’t spread to any other parts of your body. If you have to take antibiotics for an infection, you’ll have a procedure done at your next appointment once it heals. Our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, will provide you with instructions on taking prescription or non-prescription medications.

 

Brushing and Flossing

Do you have to do anything different when it comes to dental hygiene at home? It’s important to make sure your teeth, including your treated tooth, stay as clean as possible to reduce the risk of dental problems. After having a root canal, you should continue to brush and floss as often as you normally would. If your tooth and gums are sore, you should brush and floss gently. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash after your procedure.

 

Eating

Since you’re likely to experience discomfort after your procedure, you should avoid chewing or biting down on food on the affected side of your mouth. Our endodontist might advise you to do this in order to lower the risk of hurting the affected tooth until it’s done healing. Teeth that have had root canals or other endodontic treatments often have an increased risk of breaking or fracturing until a dental crown is put on. A dental crown helps protect your tooth from damage and infection after you’ve had a root canal.

 

When to See Our Endodontist

Root canals are common dental procedures that are safe, but there are certain risks to be aware of. These risks include nerve injuries, sinus and upper teeth communication issues, and post-op infections. Nerve injuries are rare and should be temporary if they do occur. In even rarer cases, these injuries become more permanent. Nerve injuries can result in tingling, pain, or a loss of sensation.

Root canals done on upper teeth can cause problems with your sinuses, although this is uncommon. You can reduce the risk of having this complication by avoiding blowing your nose for a few days after your procedure. Sneezing with your mouth open rather than closed also helps lower this risk. If you experience any pressure or discomfort in your sinuses after a root canal, you should let our endodontist know.

Infections can occur after root canals, although they’re not common. Signs that you might have an infection include swelling, pain, and fever. You might also see pus or develop an abscess. You should see our endodontist right away if you have an infection since you’ll need antibiotics for treatment.

 

Follow-Up Visit

After having a root canal, you can expect to have a dental crown placed on your tooth. You might have a temporary crown placed on your tooth the day of the procedure, which means you’ll need to go back for another visit to get your permanent crown. You might also need a follow-up visit if you’re experiencing any problems with your tooth after your procedure. You should make sure you go to any follow-up appointments you have to ensure that your tooth is healing properly.

 

If you need a root canal, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Our dental team will make sure you know how to care for your tooth post-op for proper healing.

Endodontic Treatments vs. Dental Implants

When you have tooth damage from decay, injuries, or other causes, your treatment options might include a root canal or dental implant. Dental implants can replace teeth that have been extracted, while root canals can prevent you from having damaged teeth removed. Find out more about these different types of treatment.

 

 

Root Canals

Root canals involve eliminating decayed or damaged parts of the interior of your tooth to prevent infections from occurring. This type of treatment is also done to stop decay or damage from getting worse. When you have a root canal done, your endodontist clears decayed or infected material from the inner part of your tooth called the pulp. This space is then sealed up, and you’ll have a crown placed on the tooth. This crown helps protect the tooth from becoming decayed or infected again while also fully restoring its function. Before treatment, you might have trouble biting down without experiencing pain or other symptoms.

Root canals have a lower cost compared to other types of treatment for damaged teeth, such as dental implants. Having a root canal done also requires a lower number of visits overall, making this treatment more convenient. With fewer visits needed, you won’t have to take time off from work or pay for multiple visits. Root canals also allow you to keep your natural tooth and jaw structure rather than having the affected tooth extracted.

 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are used for replacing missing teeth. When you have a tooth extraction done for damage or decay, a dental implant can help restore function if you’re having trouble chewing or speaking clearly. Dental implants can also help restore your smile, although keep in mind that you won’t have your natural tooth. Instead, you’ll have an artificial tooth attached to the implant.

Dental implants require more visits as multiple dental specialists are needed for this type of treatment. These implants are also more expensive than root canals. In fact, the cost of just one dental implant can range from $3,000 to $4,500. This cost can be even higher if you need multiple implants or if you need other work done beforehand, such as bone grafting to ensure that you have enough jawbone to hold an implant.

When you get dental implants, you can also expect the healing process to take much longer. The dental implant process starts with having an implant placed in your jaw and imprints taken of your natural teeth in order to have your artificial one match them as closely as possible. Your jaw then needs to fully heal before you can go back to have an abutment and artificial tooth attached to the implant. This can take several weeks or even months, depending on how long the healing process takes.

 

Which Treatment Should You Get?

When you visit a dentist for tooth decay or a tooth infection, you’ll need to decide which kind of treatment to get. While this depends on different factors, such as how much decay or damage your tooth has, keep in mind that it’s better to try and save your natural tooth if possible. You might be leaning toward a dental implant due to concerns about experiencing discomfort during a root canal. However, you should be aware that this type of endodontic treatment is not as uncomfortable as it might seem. Endodontists use local anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything during your root canal. You might be a bit sore when it wears off, but this is temporary.

When you have a dental implant, you’ll need to spend more time at the dentist’s office. You might also experience discomfort for a longer period of time overall due to the extended healing process. Root canals provide you with a way to save your natural tooth while paying a lower cost and spending less time at the endodontist’s office. You’ll have restored tooth function sooner rather than later with a root canal as well.

If you need to schedule a dental visit or if you’re looking for more information on endodontic treatments, please contact Largo Endodontics today. We can evaluate your damaged tooth and help you determine the most suitable type of treatment for it.

How is a Pulpotomy Different from a Root Canal?

You may have come across the term “pulpotomy” when searching online for the cause of your symptoms. Or perhaps your dentist mentioned the possibility of needing this procedure, so you’re looking for more information. So we’ll dive into the procedure here, and how it’s different from a root canal. 

What Is a Pulpotomy?

Most people think of teeth as solid, almost bony objects that are hard through and through, but this isn’t accurate. While the exterior of the tooth is hard, there’s quite a bit happening inside that hard shell. Inside each healthy tooth reside blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. All this softer material together is the pulp of the tooth.

Minor tooth decay, what we typically call cavities, can be easily treated before there’s any risk of damage to a tooth’s pulp. That’s what we’re doing when you get a standard filling. We’re getting rid of minor decay before it turns into something worse.

If left untreated, tooth decay will nearly always progress. Over time, a tooth can decay to the point where the pulp is exposed, no longer protected by the tooth itself. Bacteria then has access to the pulp, leading to infection.

A pulpotomy is the least invasive method for dealing with infected tooth pulp. In this procedure, only the pulp in the crown of the tooth is removed. The roots of the tooth are left intact. After removing a part of the crown of the tooth and the decayed or dead pulp inside, a dentist will install a medicated filling over the remaining roots of the tooth. In most cases, the dentist will then install a crown to further protect the tooth.

Most pulpotomies are performed on children when baby teeth show advanced decay. The procedure is sometimes recommended for adults, with research showing adult pulpotomies are successful in some scenarios. Still, the procedure can be harder to do and is sometimes less effective on adult (permanent) teeth.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is another procedure that addresses damaged or dead tooth pulp. It’s considerably more invasive than a pulpotomy and involves removing all tooth pulp from the affected tooth, including the roots. While considerably more invasive, root canals tend to last quite well and are regarded as a long-term solution.

For quite a few years, the root canal has been the go-to solution for just about any scenario where tooth pulp is infected. This is changing, though. Thanks to improvements in dental technology, it’s easier today to identify how much of a tooth’s pulp is infected. If the infection is limited, a pulpotomy may do the job with far less invasiveness. Doing so saves more of the natural tooth and roots as well.

 

What about Pulpectomies? Pulpotomy vs. Pulpectomy Explained

One question you may have is about pulpotomy vs. pulpectomy. These terms sound similar, and they do refer to similar procedures. However, there’s not usually much debate between the two.

We covered pulpotomies above, but as a reminder, this procedure involves removing just the pulp in the crown (top) of the tooth, then placing a medicated filling above the remaining roots.

The term pulpectomy refers to removing all the pulp (including the roots) from a tooth. It’s never a standalone procedure. Something else — some kind of follow-up step procedure — has to be done after removing the pulp. In most cases, that follow-up procedure is a root canal.

So a pulpotomy is a standalone procedure that saves some pulp and the roots of a tooth. A pulpectomy, on the other hand, removes all the pulp from the affected tooth but is not a standalone procedure.

 

Which Procedure Is Best for Me?

If you’re dealing with tooth pain, what’s the best solution? Perhaps all you need is a filling. If you already know that you’re dealing with infected pulp, is a pulpotomy the right choice, or do you need a root canal?

The only way to know for certain is to discuss your options with a dentist or endodontic specialist. To accurately identify the right solution, a practitioner will need to carefully evaluate the state of your tooth, among other factors. Usually, within one visit, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the options available for your unique situation.

Largo Endodontics is here for all your dental and endodontic needs. Reach out today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you determine the next steps in your oral health journey.

So You Need an Apicoectomy?

When you have an infection or pain in a tooth that has already had a root canal, your dentist might recommend a different procedure known as an apicoectomy. This procedure involves removing the tip of the affected tooth root to ease discomfort and prevent an infection from spreading. Knowing more about having an apicoectomy can help you feel more comfortable about this procedure.

 

Reasons for an Apicoectomy

Why might your dentist recommend having this procedure done? If you’re having pain due to an infection or inflammation, even after a root canal, an apicoectomy can provide relief. Having this procedure done is also an important part of stopping an infection from becoming widespread, which can be dangerous. Since your affected tooth has already had a root canal, the only other option, in this case, is removing it entirely. An apicoectomy provides a less invasive way to treat an infection or inflammation under the gum while also allowing you to keep your natural tooth.

 

What to Expect During and After an Apicoectomy

When you have this procedure done, your endodontist will use a surgical microscope and surgical instruments to remove the tip or end of your tooth root. This approach offers a highly precise and delicate way to treat infections or inflammation under the gum. Before this procedure, you’ll be given local anesthesia to numb the area and reduce the risk of discomfort. Your endodontist will then make a small incision to get to the root tip and gently remove it. You might also have your root canal cleaned to reduce the risk of getting another infection. Your tooth will then be sealed to keep bacteria out, and you’ll have sutures placed at the surgical site.

Apicoectomy animation

You might have some minor pain and swelling after you have this procedure, but this should only last for a few days. Your endodontist might recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve discomfort. You should also follow your endodontist’s instructions for caring for your tooth to ensure that it properly heals.

 

Benefits of an Apicoectomy

Having an apicoectomy provides some benefits compared to having the affected tooth removed. When you save your natural tooth, you’re helping to protect the teeth on either side of it. Removing a tooth can cause problems for the surrounding teeth, such as shifting, which can affect your bite. Keeping your tooth helps prevent these issues from occurring.

Saving your natural tooth with this procedure also means you’ll be having a less invasive procedure done. With tooth removal, you might need to undergo dental implant surgery afterward in order to replace it with an artificial tooth. This type of surgery involves cutting into your gums to place a post inside the gum tissue. You then have to wait for it to heal before having your artificial tooth put in place. When you have an apicoectomy, you don’t have to worry about undergoing more invasive surgery.

Preserving the affected tooth with an apicoectomy also helps you save money on dental costs. Dental implants to replace natural teeth are much more expensive than the cost of having the tip of your tooth root removed.

Apicoectomies also have high success rates, making them a good option for saving natural teeth that are infected. When you have your apicoectomy done by an experienced endodontist, you can depend on having a successful procedure with a low risk of complications.

 

Good Candidates for Apicoectomies

If you have had a root canal in the past and are experiencing signs of an infection or inflammation in the same tooth, you might be a good candidate for an apicoectomy. Keep in mind that tooth root infections can end up spreading quickly, so you’ll need to have this procedure done sooner rather than later. Your endodontist can go over detailed information about this type of procedure and determine if it’s the right option for you. Since the only other option in these cases is usually tooth removal, apicoectomies are typically recommended as a treatment. This procedure is generally safe for patients since the risks of complications are low compared to more invasive endodontic surgery.

If you need more information on having an apicoectomy, please contact Largo Endodontics today to schedule an appointment with our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman. We provide root canals, apicoectomies, and other types of endodontic procedures for patients in and around the Largo area.