Apicoectomy: Following-Up Root Canal Infection Treatment
By Byron J Nordhus D.D.S. on March 23, 2018
An apicoectomy is performed in order to address an infection that affect the roots of a tooth. It’s usually a treatment that’s done when an initial root canal therapy was ineffective. The procedure involves the removal of the tooth root as well as the last of the infected soft tissue in the root. The procedure is sometimes referred to as endodontic microsurgery, though this only when dentists use a microscope to aid in performing the apicoectomy.
The team at our Wichita, KS dental practice would like to take a moment to consider the apicoectomy and how it can help you experience good dental health again.
Good Candidates for Apicoectomy
Good candidates for an apicoectomy are people who underwent a root canal but the procedure did not succeed in removing all of the infected dental pulp. The apicoectomy will essentially finish the job that the root canal started, and will help prevent the need for the tooth to be extracted.
If the infection is too advanced, an apicoectomy may not be able to properly address your problem. In such cases, the most ideal procedure would be a tooth extraction. We can discuss all of these matters in much greater detail during the consultation process.
Risks of Undergoing an Apicoectomy
As with all dental procedures, there are some risks to keep in mind as you undergo treatment. The major one is a slight risk that the apicoectomy will not be successful, and your tooth will need to be extracted even after the procedure has been performed. This risk can be reduced through a full consultation, and by ensuring the patient follows all pre-op and post-op instructions carefully.
The Apicoectomy Procedure
Patients are given local anesthetic to numb the pain of the procedure. Dental sedation may also be used as needed depending on the patient’s anxiety as well as the nature of the procedure.
The gum tissue is pulled back in order to expose the root structure of the infected tooth. The tip of the tooth root is removed, as is any soft tissues that are nested within the tooth root. The root of the tooth is then sterilized, filled, and sealed in order to eliminate any further infection risks.
An apicoectomy can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes to perform.
Recovery from Apicoectomy
Pain and discomfort are common after undergoing an apicoectomy. Thankfully, pain medication (either prescription or over-the-counter) can be taken to address this discomfort. Patients may also be prescribed antibiotics to help manage potential spread of infection following the procedure.
Patients can use a cold compress applied to the face to help manage the discomfort and swelling following an apicoectomy. Be sure to keep the cold compress on for 15-20 minutes, and then take a 15-20 minute break with the compress off your face.
To avoid pain and discomfort after the apicoectomy, be sure to eat soft foods without crumbs. The food items should be room temperature and not spicy. Avoid using drinking straws during this time as these can affect the blood clots that develop as you heal.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care
For more information about apicoectomy and how it can help address your dental health needs, be sure to contact the team at Nordhus Dentistry. We will help you have a healthy smile, and provide you with all the information necessary to make wise dental health decisions.
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“Dr. Nordhus and the whole team are simply amazing. Humble, professional, and always a delight to work with. Highly recommend.” Derek W.