What Is Apicoectomy and Who Needs It?

What Is Apicoectomy and Who Needs It?

Sep 01, 2019

What is an Apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is a common treatment that is performed when the root canal treatment is not enough for keeping the tooth infection-free and healthy. Also, when a root canal becomes infected again after the procedure, it is because the infected tissue is very close to the apex of a root. The main aim of an apicoectomy is to save your tooth before the infection leads to the destruction of the tooth and makes it imperative to extract it. Before the procedure, the dentist will make a diagnosis by studying the images of the affected tooth.

For avoiding tooth extraction, the dentist removes the tip of the infected tooth which prevents the infection from spreading further. The apicoectomy consists of making an incision in the gum and lifting the gum for exposing your tooth. When the dentist reaches to the root, he will remove the remaining infected tissue and the tip of the root by drilling. After cleaning, the dentist will seal the root. Usually, a procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour. It is microsurgery after which you will be given the required medicine for preventing pain. The dentist will also suggest you apply ice for eliminating the swelling.

Who Needs an Apicoectomy?

The surgery is needed for people who develop an infection even after the root canal procedure. It’s suggested in cases where it is not possible to save the tooth with a root canal procedure. According to the dentist in San Jose, CA, the only alternative to the procedure is tooth extraction. But it’s not recommended as tooth extraction affects the adjacent healthy teeth. Dentistry always tries to preserve the function of your natural tooth.

Reasons to Perform an Apicoectomy

  • When there is a presence of infection even after performing endodontic therapy.
  • When a biopsy is required.
  • When an evaluation of the root apex is required.
  • When it is not possible to perform orthograde endodontic therapy because of pathological, anatomical, or iatrogenic defects of the root canal.
  • In case there is a blockage in the root canal.
  • When it is required to remove a section of the root to the place where it integrates the material of the duct filling.
  • When it is required as a step in the preparation of the retrograde filling.

The benefit of an apicoectomy is that it enables one to perform a deep examination of the root apex and eliminates an apical root canal with infection. However, as a downside, the length of the tooth root gets cut and the apical dentine gets exposed.

How Is It After the procedure?

For many people, it is not bothersome and they continue with their normal activities the next day. However, others may experience some discomfort and swelling as they heal. It is important to follow the instructions of the dentist which includes diet and brushing advice given by the endodontist. In case of severe pain, it is important to call the dentist if pain medication doesn’t help in relieving the pain.

Tips for Recovery

During the first few days after the procedure, you must brush the teeth gently in the swollen area. It is also advised to avoid smoking. The gums are sealed with the help of stitches, which will be removed 2-7 days after the procedure. It is said that the procedure can last for a lifetime and your tooth will be saved from getting infected in the future. It is important to follow the tips suggested by the dentist for speeding up your apicoectomy recovery.

Does the Procedure Hurt?

The endodontist administers local anesthesia for making the treatment more comfortable. Patients may experience discomfort during the healing phase, which is common after any surgical procedure. The patients will be given pain medication for easing comfort.

Length of Treatment

The treatment doesn’t last for long and is completed within a single appointment. It takes about 90 to 120 minutes which depends on the location of the tooth and the complexity of the roots.

What If You Don’t Want the Surgery?

If a patient doesn’t want to undergo the surgical procedure, the tooth needs to be extracted. It is then replaced with the help of an implant.



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