Who Needs an Apicoectomy?

When you have a badly damaged, decayed, or infected tooth, a root canal treatment is the best way to clear the infection and fix the problem. Sometimes, the infection may be too persistent for root canal treatment alone to save your tooth.

Rather than heading straight for an extraction, an apicoectomy may be the surgical option you’re looking for to treat the damaged pulp in your tooth and prevent issues that a second root canal treatment could cause.

Expert endodontist Dr. Ramesh K. Sunar is experienced at performing apicoectomies here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has the lowdown on what the treatment is, and what you can expect when you visit us here at Charlotte Root Canal Center to fix your unsuccessful root canal.

An apicoectomy can only be performed on a tooth that’s already had a root canal treatment

In most cases, root canal treatments are effective at fixing any dental decay or infection that’s affecting the pulp of your tooth. A root canal not only removes the decay but replaces the top part of your tooth with a crown, which can restore the appearance of your smile and make it easier for you to eat without pain or sensitivity.

There are occasions, though, where a root canal treatment may fail, and the pulp becomes infected again. Although a second root canal treatment can be performed to clear out the damaged canal, this involves removing the crown and can cause damage to your gum line and the root of your affected tooth.

In these situations, Dr. Sunar may suggest an apicoectomy as the best treatment to stop the infection and restore the health of your tooth. This is determined at your root canal follow-up. Dr. Sunar uses X-rays to get a full picture of the issue and to identify the exact location of the recurring problem.

A tooth that’s too damaged may not be suitable for an apicoectomy

Sometimes the damage caused by the infection is too great to be treated with an apicoectomy. A dental extraction may be necessary to prevent decay from spreading to your neighbouring teeth. While this damage may be picked up on the X-rays before the procedure, sometimes it isn’t until Dr. Sunar has exposed the root of your tooth that he can see any cracks or breaks that show your tooth is too weak for the procedure.

An apicoectomy is a minor surgical procedure that takes place in the dental office

As with any surgical procedure, some preparation before surgery is essential for best results. In the case of an apicoectomy, you’re prescribed some antimicrobial mouthwash, antibiotics, and medication to reduce inflammation in the affected tooth.

Local anesthetic is administered before the surgery so you won’t feel any pain as Dr. Sunar makes a tiny incision in your gum to expose the root of the affected tooth. Once the apex (tip) of the root is exposed, any infection and decay is cleared and damaged tissue removed along with the end of the root. The root canal is then sealed with a filling and stitches may be used to close the incision.

Recovery is routine following an apicoectomy and you should be able to return to your regular activities the day after your treatment. Dr. Sunar provides you with instructions on caring for the site of the procedure and you may have to continue with the anti-inflammatory medication and mouth rinse as your tooth heals.

If you have a persistent infection following a root canal treatment and believe that an apicoectomy could solve your dental pain, book a consultation with Dr. Sunar today.

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