When a dental infection reaches the root of the tooth, it can quickly spread to the tiny canals and blood vessels that branch off from the tips of the roots. During a root canal, a dentist cleans all of these canals and branches from within the tooth using special tools. Unfortunately, the infection can sometimes remain in the tiny branches of the canals, and the infection returns even after multiple root canals. When root canal therapy is unsuccessful, apicoectomy may be able to eliminate infection and save your natural tooth.
Apicoectomy can prevent the need for a dental extraction or other treatment. If you need apicoectomy treatment, your dentist will likely refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
What is apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is a procedure designed to eliminate infections from the very tip (also known as the apex) of your tooth’s root. This apex has lots of tiny channels that can hide infected tissue, but apicoectomy removes the apex altogether and replaces it with a tiny dental filling. This filling seals the root of the tooth and prevents infection from spreading.
To perform the procedure, the oral surgeon will first administer the appropriate anesthetic to prevent pain. Next, the surgeon will access the root tip through the side of the gums — this makes the procedure ideal for patients who have crowns and cannot undergo procedures that enter the top of the tooth, such as root canals. Next, the tip of the root will be removed, and all signs of infection in and around the tooth will be cleaned using special ultrasonic tools. Once the infection is completely clear, a small filling (usually made of composite or resin) will be placed to protect the root of the tooth. The surgical site will then be sutured and left to heal. The total procedure usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
Apicoectomy in New Brunswick, NJ, East Brunswick, NJ, and Middlesex, NJ
If you need dental treatment and root canals have not been a successful solution, apicoectomy may be right for you. Our oral surgeons are experts at all sorts of dental and facial procedures, and they will be happy to discuss your treatment options during a consultation appointment.