In some instances, root canal therapy may not resolve an infected tooth. Apicoectomy is an endodontic surgery procedure that removes the very tip of the root as well as residual infection.
Georgia Microendodontics provides comprehensive endodontic care in Marietta, GA. Our doctors use the latest, most advanced technology for accurate diagnoses and treatment.
Benefits of Apicoectomy
When indicated, apicoectomy is effective for addressing infection and preserving oral health. This procedure offers a number of benefits. For example, some endodontic procedures remove the entire tooth root. Apicoectomy preserves more of the natural tooth structure by removing only the very tip of the root.
Root canal re-treatment, a common endodontic procedure, requires the removal of fillings and crowns, which can weaken teeth over time. Apicoectomy can be completed without disturbing restorations.
When is Apicoectomy Necessary?
The primary purpose of apicoectomy is to eliminate infection and save a tooth from extraction. However, apicoectomy is not usually the first line of defense against an infected tooth. Typically, this treatment is recommended when root canal therapy has failed.
Several factors must be considered when determining candidacy for apicoectomy. During a consultation at Georgia Microendodontics, our doctors can recommend an appropriate course of treatment.
To begin the apicoectomy procedure, local anesthesia is administered for your comfort. Nitrous oxide and oral sedation are also available to keep you comfortable during treatment.
To access the problematic tooth root, an incision is created in the gums. Using specialized dental instruments, your doctor removes infected tissue as well as the very end of the tooth root. The infected tissue is submitted to an oral pathology lab to determine the nature of the problem. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned, a small dental filling is placed to seal the root and reduce the risk of recontamination.
Finally, the gum tissue is repositioned, and the incision is closed with sutures. A gauze pack is placed over the surgical area to slow bleeding.
Recovery after Apicoectomy
Following apicoectomy, patients can expect some degree of discomfort as well as minor bleeding and swelling. These side effects are normal and should diminish in a few days.
Your doctor will provide you with postoperative guidelines, which should be followed closely to reduce the risk of complications. Here are a few general guidelines:
- Take all medications exactly as directed.
- Avoid strenuous activity for at least 48 to 72 hours.
- Use cold compresses or ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Gently rinse the surgical area with saltwater or antibacterial mouthwash.
- Eat a soft food diet for the first few days after your procedure.
- Attend all recommended follow-up visits.
If a root canal-treated tooth is still infected, your doctor may recommend a second root canal treatment instead. In some instances, root amputation (another type of endodontic surgery) may be necessary. If the affected tooth has a poor prognosis, an extraction and dental implant may be the most suitable option.
The treatment recommended for you depends on a number of factors, including your oral health history and personal goals. During a consultation at Georgia Microendodontics, your doctor can review all possible treatment options with you.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you need an endodontic specialist in the Marietta, GA, area, the Georgia Microendodontics team can help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, contact us online anytime.