The dentist may recommend an apicoectomy in order to save a tooth from extraction. When this procedure is conducted, the tooth that would have otherwise been extracted is saved. The apicoectomy may be done after the patient has undergone a root canal treatment or retreatment. During the procedure, the apex or root tip is taken out along with other infected materials. This is done to cover any possible entry points for infections.
For instance, roots that have a wide array of connecting branches can be extremely difficult to clean when a root canal treatment is needed. If proper cleaning isn’t done, the patient may suffer from inflammation. An apicoectomy is done to prevent this.
Additionally, the root canal may be blocked by a fractured file, which was left over from a previous root canal treatment. This blockage can cause an infection. Debris on the remaining root canal of teeth can also create room for infection.
If the shape of the root canal is complex such as too narrow or curved, it could be difficult for the dental tools or files to access the tip of the root. This can result in continual infection or re-infection.
An apicoectomy is best done by an endodontist. These are dental professionals who specialize in this type of procedures.
Before conducting the surgery, the dentist will have to collect x-rays in order to better understand the state of the infected area. The dentist may also give an antimicrobial mouthwash or antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to be taken by the patient before the procedure.
As part of the preparatory work, the dentist will apply a local anesthetic on the affected area. Ensure you disclose any medication that you may be taking including issues that you may have such as hypertension because some anesthetics can affect blood flow and put you at risk if you have an underlying condition. It’s normal to feel like your heart is racing while under the anesthetic. This feeling should subside relatively fast.
The dentist then goes ahead to slice into the gum to access the root. He removes the infected material along with a section of the root tip. The dentist will check for any fractures or cracks in the tooth. In the unfortunate event that the tooth is severely damaged, the process can longer be conducted and the tooth will have to be extracted.