The teeth are held firmly in place by strong roots that extend into the jawbone. Molars and premolars tend to have several roots, whereas the front incisors only have a single root. The end or tip of each root is termed the apex. The apex is where the nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth and aids in the delivery of blood to the crown (the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth).
A root canal treatment refers to the cleaning of the canals and the removal of infected and inflamed tissue within the root. When the inflammation or infection persists after the root canal treatment, an apicoectomy may be required. An apicoectomy is essentially the removal of the apex (or root tip), followed by a filling procedure to seal the root from further infection. When left untreated, infected roots can damage other teeth, spread infection, and cause regression of the jawbone.
Reasons for an apicoectomy
Infected and inflamed soft tissue around the root of a tooth can be exceptionally painful and debilitating. The purpose of an apicoectomy is to eliminate the infection in the tissue and to ultimately preserve the function of the tooth and save it from extraction. An apicoectomy will rarely be considered by the surgeon unless a prior root canal treatment has failed.
There are several reasons why an apicoectomy may be necessary:
Small Adjoining Root Branches – Roots are extremely complex and can contain many tiny branches. If these tiny branches cannot be cleaned and sealed when the root canal treatment is performed, inflammation can persist.
Blocked Root Canal – In some cases, the surgeon is unable to effectively clean a root canal because it is blocked by a fractured file left behind from prior root canal treatment. Infection and debris can quickly affect adjacent teeth.
Narrow or Curved Root Canals – When the root canal is poorly shaped, the endodontic files cannot reach the root tip. Continuing infection or re-infection can then occur.
What does getting an apicoectomy involve?
Prior to the surgery, the surgeon will generally prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medication to treat the underlying infection. Panoramic X-rays will then be taken to enable the surgeon to plan the apicoectomy, which will be performed under local anesthesia.
The surgeon will make a small incision in the gum and expose the root by lifting away the gum. In some cases, a tiny fraction of the jawbone may be removed to properly expose the root. The edge of the root tip and any infected connective tissue will be removed using ultrasonic instruments. The root will be sealed using a retrofill (filling material), and the surgeon will suture the gum with several stitches.
This surgery does not require an overnight stay, and full aftercare instructions and pain medications will be provided as needed. After several days, the surgeon will remove the stitches, and the connective tissues will fully heal several months after the procedure.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, such as pain or swelling associated with a tooth that has had a root canal, we encourage you to contact our office immediately.
Their number one priority is to make you comfortable. Their second is to help your teeth. They will immediately stop if you feel any pain. Friendly, professional environment with all the newest tech. Flat screens in every room that you get to choose the channel to while they work on your teeth. Great distraction. If you need dental help, there is absolutely no question. Go here!!!
Anonymous Google May 12, 2023
I do not typically leave reviews for anything, but I had to for these great people. Having had a traumatic dental experience in the past, I have been very lax about my dental needs due to fear and anxiety. So, when my tooth pain was more than I could handle I called Kelly Family Dentistry. From the time I sat down in the chair, to the escort to the receptionist after my appointment, I was treated with respect and kindness every step of the way. They explained everything to me and were continually asking me how I was doing during the procedure. Thank you, thank you Dr. Kelly for the great respect you showed me and for letting me see what a dental experience is supposed to be like. A huge shout out to his staff.....in my book you guys are absolutely top notch!!
Arleen KellyFamilyDentistry.com May 5, 2023