Sometimes, root canal treatment can be unsuccessful in resolving an infection in the tissues near a tooth’s roots. When this occurs, a minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy may be recommended. 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. The end of the root may be filled, and a few stitches or sutures are placed in the gum to help the tissue heal properly. Dr. Berry and his team of endodontists are experts in performing apicoectomies and can do it for you today!
Causes for an Apicoectomy
There could be several reasons why an apicoectomy may be recommended, including
- An anatomical irregularity
- 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.
Before Dr. Berry recommends an apicoectomy procedure, x-rays of the affected tooth and surrounding bone may be taken to see if the apicoectomy procedure is right for you. 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.
Apicoectomy Long Island
At Long Island Endodontics, root canal procedures are performed under the Wand, the new needle which enables all anesthetic injections to be more comfortable for the patient. Once numbed, 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, the 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 to help the tissue heal properly. After your surgery, you will receive post-operative care instructions for dealing with swelling and soreness. 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.
Risks with Apicoectomy
As with any type of surgery, there are slight risks that come with an apicoectomy. This reason is why apicoectomies are only recommended once root canal treatment has been proven to be ineffective. An apicoectomy is generally a permanent and cost-effective solution that can help the tooth last for the rest of your life. Although the goal of apicoectomies is to preserve the tooth, it may be easier and better for your dental health to have the tooth extracted. With this alternative treatment, a discussion between you and the endodontist at Long Island Endodontics should take place, as tooth replacement involves more treatments and may require additional costs.
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) 374-3663.