In most cases, a root canal is all that is required to rescue teeth with damaged pulp from extraction. However, this approach may not always be enough to repair the tooth, and the dentist may propose surgery.
Endodontic surgery can be performed to find fractures or hidden canals that do not show up on x-rays yet cause tooth discomfort. This method can also be used to address damaged root surfaces or adjacent bone. An apicoectomy, also known as root-end resection, is the most frequent procedure utilised to salvage injured teeth.
Firm roots that stretch into your jawbone hold your teeth in place. Unlike the front incisors, which have just one root, molars and premolars have many roots. The apex is the end of the root. This is where nerves and blood arteries enter the tooth and assist in the delivery of blood to the crown
If infection persists after root canal treatment or re-infection develops, an apicoectomy may be required. During an apicoectomy, the apex (or root tip) is removed and the root tip is sealed to avoid future infection. Infected roots, if left untreated, can cause harm to surrounding teeth, spread infection, and lead to tooth loss.
When Is an Apicoectomy Required?
When the tissue around a tooth’s root gets infected or diseased, it can be excruciatingly painful and incapacitating. The apicoectomy removes the infection and restores normal tooth function without the need for extraction.
Infections can also be entirely asymptomatic in some cases, therefore frequent checkups with your dentist are essential.
Here are some examples of when you could need an apicoectomy:
- Small neighbouring root canal branches: Root canals can be highly complicated and contain branches. In certain situations, these small branches cannot be cleansed during endodontic treatment, resulting in chronic infection or re-infection.
- Obstructed root canal: In some cases, the root canal system cannot be completely cleansed owing to inherent mineralization of the tooth or a blockage.
- Restricted or curving root canals: Endodontic files may be impossible to reach the end of the root in some cases. This may prevent the root from being completely cleansed and filled. This can result in chronic infection or re-infection.
The Apicoectomy Method
In order to cure the underlying illness, your dentist will usually recommend an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory drug prior to surgery. The dentist will next take an X-ray and a 3D CT scan to accurately design the apicoectomy.
Local anesthetic will be used during the surgery. An incision is placed in the gum line to reveal the bone and inflammatory tissue around it. The diseased tissue and root tip are removed. A thorough investigation of the region will be carried out. To avoid reinfection of the root, a root-end filling is applied, and the gum is stitched.
You will be given extensive post-operative guidelines as well as medicines for pain treatment and antimicrobial therapy as required for your specific case. We will make another visit for the dentist to assess the healing process and release the stitches. We’ll check in to see how things are going.
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