When an infection reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal is usually the first step of treatment. If a root canal fails, your endodontist at Boise Endodontics may suggest an apicoectomy. This endodontic surgery is relatively minor, but can make all the difference to your oral health!
When Do We Recommend an Apicoectomy?
Simply put, a nonsurgical root canal may not be enough to save a tooth. Sometimes, an infection can reoccur near the apex, or tip of the root, which threatens the life of a tooth. If our endodontists make this determination, an apicoectomy may be the best course of action.
We may recommend surgical intervention for a number of reasons, some of which include:
The Apicoectomy Procedure
Like all restorative procedures, an apicoectomy begins with a consultation appointment. During your consultation, our endodontists will perform a diagnostic examination to determine whether or not surgical intervention is necessary. Once we determine that you are a suitable candidate, we can schedule your actual procedure.
Because it is a surgical procedure, an apicoectomy begins with the application of local anesthetic. The local anesthetic will numb the tooth and eliminate pain. After you have been properly anesthetized, we will move forward with the surgery.
During an apicoectomy, we will make a tiny incision in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone and tooth root. Once the bone is exposed, we utilize a high-powered microscope and other advanced hand tools to remove the infected, inflamed, or necrotic (dead) tissue. This typically includes the surrounding alveolar bone and a small amount the root’s tip as well.
Then, we usually need to place a small filling to cap the root tip, sealing it off from future bacteria. Once all problematic tissue has been removed, and the tooth is properly protected, we will suture the incision.
After Your Apicoectomy
Over the next few months, the bone will naturally and securely heal around the tip of the root. After this brief healing period, your tooth should return to its normal function. In the meantime, we will give you a set of post-operative instructions to reduce your risk of developing any complications.
For a couple of weeks after your surgery, you may experience some minor swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. This is completely normal. If these symptoms persist or worsen over time, reach out as soon as possible so that we can address any issues.
We may also prescribe antibiotics and pain medication to ensure a more successful post-operative experience. Be sure to avoid extensive brushing, flossing, and rinsing, all of which may cause problems at your surgical site.
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment
If you would like to find out whether or not you need endodontic surgery, our team is happy to help! Call (208) 376-6307 to schedule a consultation appointment now!