During a root canal treatment our dentist clears inflamed or infected tissue in the root of the tooth. While this is a routine process in most cases, sometimes, if the infection doesn't go away, an apicoectomy may be needed.
How Does an Apicoectomy Work?
Root canals are used all the time to treat infections of the root of the teeth, however, sometimes stubborn infected tissue can remain in the canal branches and you may need to have an apicoectomy to clear it out. However, before resorting to the apicoectomy, a second root canal may be attempted first. If this doesn't work you need a more advanced treatment.
Our endodontist makes a small incision in your gum and lifts the gum from the tooth and bone. In some cases, a drill may be used to gain access to the root, so that the infected tissue can be removed, along with a portion of the root tip.
Once this procedure is completed the root of the tooth's canal is cleaned and sealed. You will probably get an X-ray of the area before it's sealed off.
Recovery from an Apicoectomy
We will send you home with instructions on how to care for the area after the surgery. Usually we ask you to use ice for the first 10 to 12 hours after the surgery and get plenty of rest. You can also take over-the-counter medications to help with swelling and you may be issued a prescription medication if needed.
You should avoid brushing the area for the first 24 hours, but can start doing so gently the following day. You should also consider a soft diet that doesn't include any crunchy or hard foods.
As tempting as it may be, to check how the injury looks in your mouth, you should not lift your lip to examine the area because this can loosen the stitches and prevent the blood clot needed for healing from forming.
If you're diagnosed includes an apicoectomy, we will go over all the details and answer the questions that you may have about the procedure.
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