Despite the incredibly high success rate associated with root canal therapy, there are unique circumstances where an endodontic infection will persist or return after treatment. In these situations, Dr. Axx or Dr. Clatanoff may recommend an apicoectomy procedure (root-end surgery) to treat your tooth infection. An apicoectomy is a minor surgical procedure where an infected root tip is removed and a specialized seal is place to promote healing of the infection.
- Why is an apicoectomy (root-end surgery) needed?
- What does an apicoectomy procedure entail?
- What is the recovery process like after an apicoectomy?
Why is an apicoectomy (root-end surgery) needed?
The presence of small fractures, complicated root canal anatomy, or tenacious biofilm infections are examples of why a tooth may present with a persistent or recurrent infection after root canal therapy. In these instances, an apicoectomy procedure may be recommended to save your tooth.
What does an apicoectomy procedure entail?
To begin the procedure, Dr. Clatanoff or Dr. Axx will administer a local anesthetic to profoundly numb the affected tooth and the neighboring areas. Next, an opening in the gums is created adjacent to your tooth, which allows for the removal of any inflamed or infected tissue. Using high powered magnification, a small portion of the root tip is removed and a specialized filling or seal is placed at the end of your tooth. The procedure is completed with the placement of several sutures to aid in the healing of the treatment site.
What is the recovery process like after an apicoectomy?
Post-surgical discomfort following an apicoectomy is typically mild in nature, permitting the patient to return to a normal schedule the day after the procedure. Minor swelling or bruising can be observed and discomfort is often managed exclusively with over-the-counter analgesics. Typically, a follow up evaluation is needed within a week of the procedure to ensure proper healing and to remove all sutures.