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An apicoectomy may be requiered when an infection develops or persists after root canal treatment or retreatment; we invite you to read on to learn more about this endodontic surgery.
Apicoectomy What Is It?
Our teeth are held in place thanks to the roots. Our roots extend into our jawbone and the shape of the root will differ from one tooth to another. The front teeth contain one root, while the pre-molars and molars have two or more roots.
The tip or the end of a root is called the apex; nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth through the apex. The vessels and nerves will travel though onto the tooth through the apex, and into the pulp chamber. When the tip of our root gets infected, you dentist might recommend root canal treatment or an apicoectomy treatment.
Root Canal is a dental treatment your dentist will use to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected, this treatment option is performed on patients whom nerve has been infected or the pulp has been damaged.
For more information we invite you to read our post: Root Canal
When performing an apicoectomy surgery, the root tip or apex, is fully removed along with the infected tissue; a filling is then placed to seal the end of the root.
When Apicoectomy is Needed
Root canals are complex dental surgeries and in some rare cases even after root canal treatment, infected tissue can remain or it can become infected again. This is often caused because an infection occurs near the apex of the roots. Therefore, an apicoectomy surgery might be required to surgical remove the tip of the root.
With today’s advances in technology, your dentists can detect canals that were not adequately treated; here at Sani Dental Group, with our advance dental x-ray and CT Scan technology, our dentist can prevent this problem.
Fact: An apicoectomy surgery is not the same as a root resection. When root resection is performed the entire root is removed, not only the tip.
If the patient has a crown or a bridge and needs a root canal, the dentist would have to destroy or weaken the crown or bridge. To prevent and minimize oral damage, your dentists will recommend an apicoectomy surgery.
Preparing for Surgery
Before the surgery your dentist will perform a diagnosis to see if you are a candidate for this surgery. The dentist will use X-Rays or CT Scans to determine the extent of the infection. You may be given an antimicrobial mouth rinse or medicine to reduce inflammation, also to reduce infection the dentist will give you antibiotics.
During the diagnosis make sure you discuss and review your medical history with your dentist, tell him of all the medicines you are currently taking. This includes over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements; this is to prevent any secondary effects.
Also tell your dentist of any existing or previous medical conditions you had, your dentist may consult with your physician before the procedure.
For the dentists at Sani Dental Group all these details help us; they help our dentists offer you the best dental experience when you visit us.
The Apicoectomy Procedure
The Apicoetomy procedure can be performed in 30 – 90 minutes. The length will depend on the location of the tooth and the complexity of its structure.
The endodontist will make an incision (cut) in your gum, afterwards the dentists will lift the gum away from the tooth and bone. The dentist may need to use the drill to gain access to the tip of the root.
Once the infected area is exposed; the infected tissue will be removed and a few millimeters of the root tip. In some cases, the endodontist may use a dye to highlight cracks and breaks in the tooth.
Dental clinics will use a variety of cleaning techniques, among them: using ultrasonic instruments, under a special microscope. Exposing the tooth under the light and magnification will allow the endodontist to clearly see the area that need treatment.
However, in case the tooth has large cracks or breaks, your dentist might recommend the tooth to be extracted.
To complete the apicoectomy, the endodontist will finish cleaning the tooth and then seal the end of the tooth's canal.
In some cases, bone graft will be required to help with bone restauration and gum repair.
The steps and procedures mentioned in this post are procedures available in the medical field; however, not all these treatments and procedures are perform at Sani Dental Group. To confirm if this procedure is perform at our dental clinics, please contact us directly.
Post Dental Treatment Care
After the surgery has been completed, your endodontist will tell you which medicines to take and what you can eat or drink; the dentist will also recommend you to apply ice to the area, alternating 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the next 10 to 12 hours.
The area may bruise and swell, the effect may be more swollen the second day after the procedure than the first day. A special medication could be prescription is some cases to help ease the pain, if this is your case follow the labels instructions for taking it.
To allow for healing we invite you to follow these post-treatment dental surgery care:
To Control Bleeding:
• Keep biting the gauze with moderate pressure for at least 30 to 45 minutes, then throw it away and do not put anything in the wound.
In the Event of Bleeding:
- Do not rinse or spit the saliva on to a napkin or towel.
- Swallow the saliva.
- Place sterile gauze and bite it for 1 hour without speaking or lie down.
- Keep applying cold compress in the affected area outside the mouth (in the check around the affected area).
For Swelling or Inflammation:
- Protect your skin by placing an ice pack on the skin in the region of the extraction. In 10 minutes intervals for the first 8 hours.
- Take painkillers prescribed by your dentist.
To Control the Infection:
- You can apply Chlorhexidine gel; it helps to heal and keeps the bacteria off the wound.
- You may be prescribed antibiotics, check with your dentist.
- You must not blow your nose and if you need to sneeze do so with your mouth open; doing so can cause the bony material to be displaced.
- Do not lift weight or perform physical exertion during a month.
- If bleeding continues contact your doctor or dentist.
At the Dentist Office
Make sure to ask questions tell your dentist all your concerns. One reason this dental procedure will not work is because of the communication problems, we invite you to let the dentist’s know all your questions and concerns.
If you have felt pain in your gum and fear surgery is required, we invite you to call our Patient Coordinator, for us at Sani Dental Group your oral health is our priority and we want to keep that beautiful smile for a life time.