A root canal can treat a tooth with diseased or damaged pulp. However, sometimes the tooth cannot completely heal after a root canal and infection spreads into the surrounding bone. An apicoectomy, also known as root-end surgery, cleans out the infection in the bone so that the tooth can be saved and not removed.
What Is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tip of a tooth’s root. If you experience an infection in a tooth after a root canal, you may require an apicoectomy to save the damaged tooth.
In addition to saving an infected tooth, patients with a root tip crowding into the space of an adjacent tooth may require an apicoectomy to prevent further problems.
What Happens in an Apicoectomy?
Your surgeon will begin the apicoectomy by numbing the treatment area using a local anesthetic. Next, they will cut into the gum to reach the tooth’s root. Then, they will remove a few millimeters of the root’s tip and any infected tissue surrounding it.
Your surgeon will clean the root canal carefully using Piezosurgery® and seal the area with a filling to prevent future infection. A bone graft is also placed to fill the void and allow for regeneration. Lastly, they will close the incision. Eventually, the jawbone will heal around your new filling.
What to Expect from Apicoectomy Recovery
Patients may experience mild discomfort and swelling as the anesthetic loses effectiveness. However, many patients can resume normal activities the next day and require only over-the-counter medications to manage inflammation.
In the week following your apicoectomy, you will need to be careful brushing and flossing around your incision site.
Apicoectomy healing time depends on the individual patient and the procedure’s complexity. It can take up to six months for the jaw to form around the filling.
Are There Alternatives to an Apicoectomy?
The only alternative to an apicoectomy is extracting the affected tooth and replacing it with an implant, partial denture, or bridge to protect the health of adjacent teeth and restore chewing function.
Trust Our Skilled Team of Surgeons for Your Apicoectomy
Inland Empire Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons work together to ensure our patients receive exceptional care. We provide advanced technology, in-depth surgical experience, convenient locations, and high-quality, patient-focused care.