Patients that have a badly infected, decayed, or damaged tooth may have a root canal performed to treat these issues to avoid extraction. This usually takes care of the problem, and life goes back to normal. But on occasion, the infection may persist. When this occurs, and multiple root canal treatments have not solved the problem, patients may undergo an apicoectomy to fix it once and for all.
Though it is sophisticated, an apicoectomy is a minor surgical procedure that requires the removal of the root tip and surrounding infected tissues. Once this is complete, the end of the root is sealed to prevent any leakage. Your surgeon will need to magnify the area and use very small tools to perform this type of microsurgery.
Root and tooth conditions involving constant infection are usually the underlying cause of having an apicoectomy performed. Some of the more common issues that may experience ongoing conditions like this include:
This is still considered a last resort type of treatment option, but is an effective way to treat infections that won’t clear up despite appropriate care. Your dentist will refer you to a Union City oral surgeon to have your apicoectomy performed.
Prior to surgery, your surgeon will order imaging of the infected tooth and its surrounding area, review your current medical history, as well as any medicine you are currently taking. This is the ideal time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure itself and recovery time.
While similar to a root canal, apicoectomy has an extra step involved. You will have your root canal flushed out, and any infected pulp gets removed. Then your oral surgeon will remove the tip of your tooth’s root. This prevents any present or future bacteria from infecting your tooth all over again. This simple step is crucial for preserving your tooth and avoiding an extraction later if infections recur once again.
At the start of this surgery, you will have a local anesthetic applied to your surgical site to numb away any pain. From this point on, an incision in the gum will provide the necessary access to your root tip that needs treatment and eventual removal of the root tip. Your surgeon will also cut away any infected gum before sealing the canal and closing up with a suture to hold the remaining tissue in place during the healing process.
Pain and discomfort are minimal following this operation with minor swelling and soreness around the surgical area. Anti-inflammatories are a trusted option for dealing with any related pain as most patients can resume normal activities the next day with few precautions.
For a few days after surgery, one wants to avoid foods that are overly crunchy or hard and brush gently so you don’t disturb the sutures in the mouth. Your surgeon will let you know if your stitches will dissolve on their own or need removal during a follow-up visit a week later.
Due to the aggressive nature of oral infections and gum disease, ignoring signs and symptoms could lead to loss of teeth. This makes it vital that patients visit their regular dentist or oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgeon right away when these issues are apparent in their gums or teeth.
At Union City Oral Surgery, our office provides patients facing root issues with cutting-edge care, including the latest dental advancements performed by Dr. Nancy Herbst. She has more than 25 years of oral and maxillofacial surgery experience and strives to provide an exceptional patient experience filled with comfort and compassionate care. As one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists in 2019, you can trust her skill and knowledge to achieve the best results possible for your root canal procedures. Contact our office at (201) 601-9262 to learn more about how we can help you today.