Root canal therapy ideally removes a deep infection from the tooth; however, the tooth's roots contain several small branches where the infection can hide or return. If a tooth is still infected or experiences another infection after your initial root canal therapy is complete, our Western Mass Endo team of board-certified endodontists often recommend an apicoectomy. A long-lasting solution, an apicoectomy removes the infected tissue around the root of the tooth, in addition to the affected root tip(s). Sometimes called endodontic microsurgery, or root-end resection, an apicoectomy can save the visible portion of your tooth if you have a crown or bridge. If you have had one or multiple root canal procedures, contact Western Mass Endo in western MA to try a more effective solution with an apicoectomy.
An ideal candidate for an apicoectomy has had a root canal, but the infection has remained or returned in the tips of the tooth root. When you have root canal therapy, a crown or bridge is usually placed to strengthen and protect the tooth. This can make a second root canal or retreatment difficult if the root tips are infected because it may destroy or weaken the crown or bridge. If you have a restoration, an apicoectomy at Western Mass Endo can be the best treatment option to eliminate the existing infection and prevent future infections from occurring.
What to Expect
Prior to performing any treatment, a member of our endodontic team will examine your teeth and gums and inform you about your treatment options before recommending an apicoectomy. To start the procedure, a local anesthetic will be used. Sedation techniques may also be used depending on the extent of the procedure or to alleviate dental fears or anxiety. We will begin by making an incision in your gums to get to the root of the tooth. The infected gum tissue and root tips will be removed before the remaining tooth is cleaned with special instruments. To ensure all the infected areas are treated, a special dye is used to highlight cracks in your tooth. When the tooth canal is cleaned and sealed, we will close the incision in your gums with sutures.
Following the procedure, a member of our team may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics for you to take. You may apply cold compresses to minimize swelling for the first few hours after your apicoectomy. You may have some bruising, soreness, or numbness for several days. Our team will go over instructions for your recovery. While you are healing, you should avoid hard foods and aggressive cleaning. You may need to return to our office in 2 – 7 days to have your stitches taken out. Typically, your gums and teeth should be healed in about two weeks after the treatment. To reduce further problems, you should follow an oral care routine at home with daily brushing and flossing. In addition, you should go to annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Western Mass Endo, so we can monitor your oral health and treat issues at the earliest signs.
Most often, an apicoectomy will be covered in part by your insurance. Our team will speak with your provider to estimate any additional costs. For patients without insurance paying out of pocket, Western Mass Endo accepts many payment methods. During your consultation, we can provide information on low-interest medical financing that may help make your apicoectomy better fit your budget.
If your tooth is still infected after having one or several root canal therapies, an apicoectomy at Western Mass Endo could be an effective solution. An apicoectomy treats the infection in the tips of the root without weakening dental restorations (crowns and bridges). To find out more or to schedule an appointment for a consultation with our team, contact our office in western MA.