If you have a tooth that has undergone a root canal and then becomes infected again, your endodontist may recommend an apicoectomy. You may wonder, what exactly is an apicoectomy, and is it worth the trouble? Understanding what an apicoectomy is, the associated benefits, and any potential risks or side effects related to the procedure are essential for making an informed decision about your dental health. At Access Endodontics, our endodontists, Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman, will help you determine if our apicoectomy treatment services are the best course of action for you.
What Is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the tip of the tooth’s root, which is called the apex. This is where infections sometimes occur, even after a root canal treatment. These infections can happen when bacteria are present in the root canal or near its end.
When your endodontist performs the procedure, they’ll make a small incision in the gums near the tooth and then remove the infected tissue and the apex of the root. They’ll then insert a filling material to seal the root canal and allow the tooth to heal properly.
The Benefits of Apicoectomies
Apicoectomies are a last resort option for treating infections after a root canal. While these procedures are often effective, there are some important benefits to consider before you decide if an apicoectomy is right for you. These include:
- Saving your tooth – Apicoectomies are often recommended after a failed root canal treatment to save the tooth and prevent it from being extracted.
- High success rate – Apicoectomies have a success rate of over 90%, making them an effective option for stubborn infections.
- A short recovery time – The procedure itself only takes about an hour, and most patients can return to their regular activities within a few days.
- Only needing a local anesthetic – You’ll only need a local anesthetic for the procedure.
- Minimal pain – Most people experience minimal pain and swelling after the procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Cost-effectiveness – An apicoectomy is often less expensive than extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant or bridge.
- Long-lasting results – With good oral hygiene, an apicoectomy can provide long-lasting results and prevent future infections.
There are many pros and few cons of having an apicoectomy, and it may be the best way to save your tooth from extraction.
Are Side Effects or Complications Common with Apicoectomies?
While apicoectomies are generally safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Some of the possible side effects or complications include:
- Pain or swelling in the area
- Numbness in the lips or tongue
- Sinus problems (in rare cases)
Your endodontist will discuss the potential risks with you and provide detailed aftercare instructions to help prevent complications.
Contact Access Endodontics Today for an Appointment
If you’re dealing with a persistent infection after a root canal treatment, an apicoectomy might be the solution you need. At Access Endodontics, our experienced endodontists use state-of-the-art technology to perform the procedure with precision and care.