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.
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.