In some rare cases, a tooth doesn’t respond to root canal therapy, and it isn’t practical to go for a root canal retreatment. In such a situation, apical surgery becomes necessary to save the tooth. This procedure is called root-end resection or apicoectomy, as in this process, the tip of the root and neighboring infected tissue of an abscessed tooth is removed. The surgery also provides the possibility of detecting possible fractures in the root.
When do you need to undergo apical surgery?
Apical surgery becomes necessary if an infection starts or continues to develop after a root canal. If the endodontist suggests you to undergo this procedure, it probably means that conventional root canal treatment cannot save your tooth. Another alternative is tooth extraction, which can also affect the health of the adjacent teeth. But the primary purpose is always to care for the function of the natural tooth.
How is apical surgery performed?
For the apical surgery, at first, the tooth is numbed completely using local anesthesia. This will make the patient feel comfortable and have no pain throughout the whole process. After that, the endodontist makes an incision in the gum tissue near the tooth in a way that makes the underlying bone and the affected tooth root visible. The infected tissue at and around the root is gently removed, cutting off the tip of the root.
Then the area is disinfected and sealed with a small filling in the root canal. The gum is also placed in its position and sutured. During the healing period, the gum tissue gets back to normal, and, in a few months, the bone around the root end heals as well.
How does the recovery feel like?
Most of the patients can go on to their normal activities the very next day. There might be feelings of discomfort and swelling as it heals. You need to follow post-care instructions as advised by the endodontist.
Call us 425-440-2000 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Cohenca for a consultation at our office in Kirkland, WA.