The goal of a root canal is to fully remove the infection from your tooth, but the tooth roots have multiple tiny branches where bacteria may remain or come back. If your tooth gets re-infected after you have had a root canal done, our team of board-certified endodontic specialists typically recommend an apicoectomy. An effective solution, an apicoectomy takes out any infected gum tissue near the tooth's root, plus the needed tip or tips. Also known as a root-end resection or endodontic microsurgery, an apicoectomy may save the upper area of the tooth to avoid disturbing a dental restoration (crown or bridge). After one or more root canal, contact Western Mass Endodontics to get a better solution through an apicoectomy.
The best candidates for an apicoectomy have already had one or more root canals, but the infection returned or remained in the tips of the root. After you get a root canal procedure, a bridge or crown may be used to protect and strengthen the tooth. The restoration can make another root canal or endodontic retreatment challenging if an infection is found since these procedures can weaken or destroy the bridge or crown. This is why an apicoectomy at Western Mass Endo may be the best method to remove the current infection while also preventing other infections.
What to Expect
Before starting a procedure, a member of our team will assess your oral health and then give you your treatment options before selecting an apicoectomy. To begin the treatment, local anesthesia will be applied to needed areas. Sedation methods can be added based on the complexity of your treatment or for dental anxiety and fears. We will start by creating an incision through the gum tissue to reveal the tooth's root. Any infected tips and surrounding tissue will be addressed before your mouth is thoroughly cleaned. To make sure the infection is completely removed, a dental dye will highlight tooth cracks. As soon as your tooth is sealed, we can close the gums using stitches.
After an apicoectomy, a member of our team may write a prescription for antibiotics or pain medication. You can use cold compresses or ice packs to reduce inflammation for the first day following your procedure. You might experience some numbness, soreness, or bruising for 3 – 5 days. One of our endodontic specialists will talk to you about instructions for your recovery period. For faster healing, you need to avoid aggressive cleaning and hard foods. If needed, you should come back to our office in a few days to get your stitches removed. Typically, your teeth and gums should heal around two weeks after your apicoectomy. To minimize future problems, you need to have a home oral care routine with frequent flossing and brushing. Additionally, you need to attend yearly dental examinations and twice yearly professional cleanings at Western Mass Endo, so we can monitor your dental health and address problems early.
Usually, an apicoectomy is covered partially by your dental insurance policy. We can call your insurance company to find out if there will be your personal costs. For patients without insurance and out-of-pocket costs, Western Mass Endo accepts several payment methods. At your initial consultation, we can explain medical financing to help make your procedure easier to afford.
When your tooth gets re-infected after you've had one or multiple root canals, an apicoectomy can be a lasting solution. An apicoectomy removes the infection from the tips of the tooth root without affecting restorations (bridges and crowns). For more information or to make an appointment with one of our specialists, contact our offices.