An apicoectomy is a procedure in which the root tip is removed, damaged tissue is excavated, the root end cavity is prepared, and the cavity is filled with a biocompatible material. The procedure is also commonly known as:
Our Renovo endodontic specialists can perform this microsurgery procedure to help save your tooth.
There are several reasons why we might recommend an apicoectomy. Sometimes, the canals in the root of a tooth are calcified, and we can’t address a tooth infection as we usually would (with traditional root canal therapy). Another reason might be that someone’s had root canal treatment, but they have a persistent infection, pain, or abscess. While not common, this can occasionally happen, and the best way to address it while saving the tooth is with an apicoectomy.
Other reasons include:
In short, root canal treatment is an intricate procedure. The diameter of a root canal is between one and three millimeters. The length of canals is between 20-23 millimeters. However, the length and diameter of the canals can vary by person and by tooth.
Some roots are straight, meaning their canals are straight, while others are curved. Additionally, some canals are hidden behind others and are difficult to see in X-rays or with the naked eye. Therefore, finding and treating them isn’t always easy.
Does that mean patients should forego the root canal therapy recommended by their Renovo team? Of course not! Overall, root canals have an up to 95% success rate, making them an extremely worthwhile procedure.
If you need an apicoectomy, here’s what you can expect during your visit to Renovo Endodontic Studio:
First, your endodontist will numb the tooth to ensure comfort during the procedure. Then, they’ll create an incision in the gum tissue to expose the root tip. The gum tissue is retracted while a few millimeters of the root tip is surgically removed.
In addition to removing the root tip, any pathological tissue surrounding the root tip is also removed. This can include surrounding bone tissue.
The root is then cleaned and disinfected and is prepared to be filled. Preparation includes smoothing the tooth structure and margins to ensure there’s less risk of bacterial microleakage.
The next step is to fill the root tip with a biocompatible filling material. This means that the material has been tested and proven to be safe. It will not harm your tooth, jawbone, or gums.
The material is carefully packed into the preparation to avoid voids in the filling material. A void can, over time, cause weakness, which can result in the introduction of bacteria into the tooth.
After the apicoectomy, we’ll close the gum tissue with sutures and provide post-op instructions. These instructions will help ensure your comfort during recovery and reduce your risk of pain, swelling, and bruising.
Post-operative care is just as crucial as the apicoectomy procedure itself. What happens during recovery will help ensure your comfort and the success of the procedure.
Post-operative instructions are designed to help you heal as quickly and comfortably as possible and with minimal side effects. They include but aren’t limited to:
It isn’t uncommon to have some soreness and swelling at the surgical site and surrounding tissues. Here are some ways to reduce swelling and discomfort:
Brushing and flossing are still important. For the first day, though, avoid the surgical area. When you start brushing this area again, be very gentle. Avoid spitting or rinsing forcefully.
We will want to perform a follow-up examination within six months of an apicoectomy. During this appointment, we’ll evaluate the success of the treatment, check that you’ve regained normal function, and assess bone health.
With procedures like apicoectomies, we can help patients regain their oral health without requiring an extraction.
As you embark on your journey to better oral health, learn about all your treatment options. An extraction isn’t the only choice if you have a damaged tooth. Alternative treatments are available to help you maintain your oral health, your beautiful smile, and all your teeth for a lifetime.
Ask your Renovo endodontic team how they can help.
Ready to explore the benefits of tooth root surgery and its role in dental care? Schedule a consultation with one of the experienced endodontists of Renovo Endodontic Studio and experience the exceptional care provided by our diverse team.