At Long Island Endodontics, root canal procedures are our specialty. Unfortunately, sometimes the root canal procedure alone cannot save the tooth. When this occurs, Dr. Craig Berry may recommend an apicoectomy procedure. An apicoectomy is when the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue, while also removing the very end of the root. During this procedure, the end of the root may be filled, and a few stitches or sutures will be placed in the gums to ensure the tissue heals properly. To learn more about the basics of an apicoectomy, continue reading!
Before Dr. Berry can recommend an apicoectomy procedure, he will take x-rays of the affected tooth and surrounding bone in order to determine whether you truly require the apicoectomy procedure. In addition to the diagnostic images, other factors such as your medical history and current medications are taken into account to determine if an apicoectomy is the best course of action.
Why You May Need an Apicoectomy
An apicoectomy may be recommended for several reasons, including
- Anatomical irregularities
- A fracture or crack in the tooth’s roots
- Blocked or inaccessible canal
This endodontic microsurgery is usually only recommended after one or more root canal treatments have been attempted and proven to be unsuccessful. This type of problem normally occurs near the apex of the root, which is why an apicoectomy may be an effective way to treat a persistent infection. Using the aid of high-powered surgical microscopes and other small specialized tools, the inflamed or infected tissue can be removed easily.
How the Apicoectomy Happens
Dr. Berry performs root canal procedures using the Wand: a needle that injects all anesthetic injections more comfortably for the patient. The procedure begins by making a small incision in the gum, exposing the infection at the end of the tooth’s roots. The infected tissue is removed along with a few millimeters of the root tip itself. If the tooth is fractured or cracked, it may be decided that it is better to extract or remove the tooth rather than complete the apicoectomy. Although the main goal of an apicoectomy is to save the tooth, sometimes it is better to remove it for your dental health.
Dr. Berry uses advanced instruments to make the root canal procedure easier and less painful for the patient. For instance, high-powered surgical microscopes are used to examine the tiny canals in your tooth, while an ultrasonic instrument is used to clean the tooth’s canals. Finally, an inert material is used to seal up the canal as a small filling. Once the apicoectomy has taken place, a small bone graft may be placed at the affected site, and then the gum tissue covering the tooth’s root will be stitched in the gum. Fortunately, you may be able to return to normal activities as soon as the following day thanks to the technological advancements in dentistry equipment! The procedure can vary in time depending upon the severity of infection, but most apicoectomies take about 30 to 90 minutes to complete!
If both a root canal and an apicoectomy scare you, then you may be interested in the GentleWave® Procedure. This procedure provides a better cleaning, and a less-invasive alternative to standard root canal treatment. Using multiple wavelengths of sound, GentleWave® gently delivers disinfecting fluids throughout the entire root canal system, even reaching into and cleaning the microscopic spaces where bacteria can hide. The procedure is minimally invasive and preserves the structure and integrity of the natural teeth. Talk to a team member today to see if GentleWave® is right for you!
Stop By Today!
Long Island Endodontics is a multi-location dental practice specializing in root canal treatment. Our team is dedicated to providing quality, pain-free care in a comfortable and caring setting. When you trust your care to a board-certified Endodontist, you can be confident that you are getting the highest standard of service. To learn more about root canal treatment and whether an apicoectomy is right for you, call our office today at (516) 667-1471.