Sometimes, the disease of the tissues near a tooth’s root cannot be resolved successfully using root canal treatment. In such occasions, an apicoectomy may be a good recommendation. This involves a minor surgery that utilizes a microscope and other specialized tools.
Often, we regard the procedure as a type of endodontic microsurgery. During an apicoectomy, the dentist excises a tiny part of the tip of the tooth’s root together with any infected hard or soft tissue around it.
Several reasons could make you undergo or need to undergo an apicoectomy — blocked or an inaccessible root canal, anatomical abnormality, fractured root canal, among others.
An apicoectomy should only be done when other root canal treatment has proved unsuccessful. This particular root canal treatment is effectual in the treatment of stubborn root infections.
Before a dental professional recommends an apicoectomy for you, he will, first, go through the X-rays of the affected tooth and its surrounding bone. Afterward, he will examine your medical history and consider other necessary factors to be sure you are a candidate for the procedure.
The Apicoectomy Procedure
Before the start of the procedure, local anesthesia will be administered to you so that throughout the process, you will not feel any pain. At the beginning of the surgery, a small incision is created on the gum to expose the infected part of the tooth’s root. The diseased tissue, is then, excised together with a small part of the root’s tip.
A dye may be applied to make cracks or fractures more visible. If in the course of the surgery, there is a fractured tooth, it might be better to remove the affected tooth than carrying-on with the apicoectomy altogether.
After the removal of the infected root tissue, the tiny canal of the root will be analyzed using a microscope and light; after that, they will be cleaned using an ultrasonic instrument. After cleaning, inert materials will be used to fill up the excised part of the canal and with small fillings will be sealed up.
Sometimes, before closing up the gum, a small bone graft may be placed in the area. After the surgery, postoperative instructions will be given to you before you go home. Most times, these procedures take about 30-90 minutes.
Swelling and soreness of the operated area could occur after surgery, and this can be controlled using conventional over the counter anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs like Ibuprofen.
Although you can go back to your normal daily activities the day after your surgery, eat only soft food and brush gently for a few days after more. If un-dissolvable sutures are used during the operation, then you will be required to go back to remove it after about a week.
Saving Your Natural Tooth is the Goal
Apicoectomy is relatively safe and effective, but just like any other surgery, it has its risks. Although another option will be to remove the diseased tooth altogether, it is the pride and goal of a dentist to do everything possible in keeping your natural teeth.
There are so many other choices for tooth replacement, which are more complex and would cost more, but an apicoectomy is not only economical but provides a lasting solution.