When a nonsurgical root canal fails to save a tooth, your dentist may recommend having an apicoectomy. Below is a guide to some of the most frequently asked questions about apicoectomies to help patients grasp a better understanding of this relatively common oral surgery procedure.
What Is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy involves an oral surgeon opening the gum tissue next to the tooth to get a better look at the bone. Subsequently, the surgeon will remove any diseased or swollen tissue and the end of the root. The surgeon might put a filling in the root’s place to cover the end of the canal, along with stitches to help heal the tissue. During the next few months, the bone adjacent to the root will heal.
Why Would I Need an Apicoectomy?
Oral surgeons might recommend an apicoectomy to treat a variety of different situations. The procedure is most commonly in response to the failure of a root canal. Most failed root canal procedures are a result of issues near the tip of the root. A few of the most common conditions that necessitate an apicoectomy procedure are:
- A fracture in the tooth’s root that surgeons cannot remove with nonsurgical treatment
- Tooth calcification that prevents non-surgical instruments utilized in a root canal procedure to reach the tooth’s root
- Infection, inflammation, or severe pain after a root canal procedure, illustrating that the treatment was unsuccessful
Will the Procedure Be Painful?
While local anesthetics will provide comfort throughout the surgery, you may experience minor swelling or discomfort during the healing process, which is standard for all types of surgical procedures. In addition to providing you with post-operation instructions, your oral surgeon will work to determine the right pain medication to reduce pain in the aftermath of the surgery.
When Can I Return to Work, School, or My Regular Routine After Having an Apicoectomy?
Most patients go back to their standard daily activities the day after having an apicoectomy. Speak with your oral surgeon to discuss the specifics of your expected recovery time.
Are There Any Alternatives to an Apicoectomy?
The sole alternative to apicoectomy surgery is often the removal of the tooth, which you will then need to replace with an implant, denture, or bridge to preserve your teeth’s functionality and overall oral health.