While endodontists are mostly associated with root canal therapy, they perform other tooth-saving procedures, as well. One you may not be familiar with is apicoectomy (ah-PEE-co-EC-tomy).This minimally invasive procedure treats persistent infection while allowing you to keep your natural tooth. This is often a much safer and healthier option than tooth extraction.
What is an Apicoectomy?
Apicoectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that removes the infected apex (tip) of a tooth root, then seals the interior of the tooth to prevent further infection. It is an in-office procedure that has minimal side-effects.
In many cases, persistent tooth pain calls for root canal therapy. This procedure removes the infection that causes the discomfort. In traditional root canal therapy, the pulp is completely removed along with any infected tissue. When infection persists despite an endodontist’s best efforts, your dentist might refer you for an apicoectomy.
How is Apicoectomy Performed?
If root end surgery is recommended for you, you should know it is considered safe and effective when performed by an endodontic specialist like our doctor. You will receive a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. We will make a small incision in the gum tissue. Our doctor will then remove the inflamed root tip and seal it with small sutures to prevent the spread of infection. Bone gradually heals around the root end.
We usually remove sutures two to seven day after the procedure. Most patients can resume normal activities, including gentle tooth brushing, the day after the procedure. Some patients experience discomfort for the first day or two but most report it is manageable with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. We can prescribe additional medicine, if needed.
Like root canal therapy, apicoectomy allows you to keep your natural teeth. Unlike a traditional root canal, however, you may not need to have a dental crown placed on the affected tooth afterward. In most cases, apicoectomy can be sealed with a filling.
Treating tooth pain early is your best defense against infection and tooth loss. Endodontic procedures are highly effective at preserving tooth function and ensuring a healthier smile.
Do you have questions about apicoectomy or root canal therapy? Please contact our endodontic practice in Louisville, KY. Our expertise can stop tooth pain while saving your natural teeth.