Can Apicoectomy Help in Saving Infected Tooth Post Root Canal?

You are here because your dentist has suggested you need apical surgery. Root end surgery or apicoectomy are other names for this procedure.

Apicoectomy is one of performed procedures at TruCare Dentistry, dentist in Roswell, GA. Here’s our quick guide to help patients understand the significance of this procedure.

First, let’s understand why dentists recommend apical surgery after a root canal failure. Then, focus on pre-procedure care, steps in apicoectomy, and crucial aftercare.

What’s the link between a root canal and root end surgery? 

Root canal procedure involves pulp removal and cleaning the chamber. In some cases, the canal gets reinfected due to issues in the root tip or apex. 

You certainly wish to know the possible reasons behind reinfection after endodontic therapy. It’s logical. The primary canal is divided into small branches. Infected tissues and debris can remain hidden in these spaces during the root canal treatment. And this triggers reinfection in the apex later. 

There are two treatment options in case of reinfection. Dentists take an x-ray to check the affected areas of the tooth. Then, recommend either a second root canal or apicoectomy.

Pre-surgery consultation 

An experienced general dentist or endodontist can perform the surgery. 

X-rays help professionals in determining the damage caused by infection. Depending on the case’s complexity, dentists prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines and antimicrobial mouth rinses before surgery. 

Surgeons also use epinephrine with a local anesthetic to control surgical site bleeding. Patients with high blood pressure might face issues post administering local anesthesia. So, don’t skip your blood pressure medicines. Ensure the pressure remains under acceptable levels. 

What if the blood pressure remains high? Well, your surgeon won’t perform the surgery until it’s normal. 

It’s always better to discuss your medical history with the dentist before scheduling the surgery. Share details for prescription medicines that you take daily. 

Highly trained professionals ensure the patient does not feel discomfort 

The aim is to remove parts of the infected root tip and tissues in the tooth canal. 

First, the specialist administers local anesthesia to numb the infected area. The gum tissue is opened with the help of surgical blades. A large incision enables dentists to remove infected tissues and parts of the tooth. Chlorhexidine and other materials are used for cleaning the affected portion. Then, the area is filled with freeze-dried bone and other bone repair material. Stitches or sutures are used for closing the tissue flap after the surgery. 

Your dentist might prefer taking an x-ray to ensure there’s no debris or infected tissue left in the chamber before sealing. 

For better results, some dentists use ultrasonic instruments and surgical microscopes during the procedure. The surgery needs anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes. Factors like the complexity of the root structure and the location of the tooth do influence the timeframe. Operating on lower molars is time-consuming compared to the front teeth. 

Post-surgery care

The patient needs complete rest during the first 10 to 12 hours after undergoing apicoectomy. 

You might notice bruises or swelling and experience pain in the operated area during the first two days post-procedure. Endodontists prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, or prescription medication to manage the same.

Patients are urged to use a soft toothbrush for a month. Avoid rinsing or brushing your teeth vigorously. 

Do not eat hard or crunchy foods during the timeframe suggested by your dental office.
It’s best to quit smoking if you wish to expedite the recovery post-surgery.

Do not eat hard or crunchy foods during the timeframe suggested by your dental office. 

It’s best to quit smoking if you wish to expedite the recovery post-surgery.

In case if the numbness continues for more than a week, you should get in touch with your dentist. You can expect the soreness and swelling to go away within 14 days after the surgery. 

Most dental offices plan the first check-up of the operated site between the 2nd and 7th day after the operation. During the examination, the dentist also removes the stitches. 

Risks associated with the procedure 

Yes, indeed, endodontists do evaluate risk and success ratios during the consultation appointment. 

The tooth may appear in a better condition during the examination. Even x-rays might fail in highlighting certain aspects. But some problems are visible only after creating an incision in the gums and examining the infected area. 

Dental surgeons ensure the tooth does not appear fractured or cracked. If it does so, there is no other option but to extract the same. And that’s the most significant risk factor. 

In a minuscule number of cases, the surgery fails to achieve the desired result. The tooth gets reinfected and has to be extracted. 

Some areas involve your sinuses. If the infected tooth is in the upper jaw, dentists prescribe additional decongestants and antibiotics. Similarly, back teeth roots are located close to vital nerves. Thus, additional x-rays and oral examination are necessary before operating on any of the back teeth. Surgeons ensure they handle these roots carefully to ensure patient safety. 

It’s crucial to note that the benefits offered by an apicoectomy are far more than overall risks. The surgery can help save your natural tooth. It ensures you retain your chewing power and jaw support. 

Are there any substitute treatments for apicoectomy? The only alternative to this surgery is tooth extraction and fitting a dental implant. 

Success rate

After assessing the risk factors, you undoubtedly wish to know the success rate. Studies have established apicoectomy as a reliable way to recover natural teeth from infection.

Research available in the public domain points out several benefits. A considerable percentage of patients experience positive results that last for more than ten years. The same study highlights that smoking can significantly impact the results in patients.

To sum it up:

No doubt, an apicoectomy is a mini surgery. Yet, most patients compare it with root-canal treatment as there’s not much discomfort involved. An apicoectomy is also the best option to remove tooth abscess formed at the tip of the root. 

Are you searching for a trustworthy apicoectomy specialist in Roswell (GA)? Call us and fix an appointment with TruCare Dentistry. Apicoectomy is one of the routinely performed procedures at our clinic. We ensure patients do not feel any discomfort at all.