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What is an Apicoectomy?

January 6, 2016

man with a toothache after root canal needs an apicoectomyRoot canal infection occurs when the interior portion of the tooth is infected. Root canal treatments have a bad reputation for being extremely painful, but actually, the pain occurs due to the infection. The pulp layer of teeth contains all of the nerves. Thus, when this interior layer is infected, the nerve is directly affected causing severe pain. Root canal treatment removes the infected tissue, and significantly alleviates pain. In most cases, root canal infection is adequately treated with this removal of infected tissue, but in rare cases, traditional root canal therapies fail. When this occurs, tooth extraction is the most often recommended solution, and in some cases, patients may even undergo a second traditional root canal. However, a better treatment option to retain natural teeth without further damaging the crown of the tooth, is apicoectomy. An apicoectomy is the correction of failed root canal treatment by accessing infected tissue through the root structure rather than the crown.

Root Canal Infection and Endodontic Treatment

Root canal infection and treatment is covered by the dental specialty endodontics (endo – inside, odont – tooth). Traditional root canal treatment requires the access of the interior pulp layer of teeth through an access hole drilled from the top of the tooth. Through this access point, the infected tissues is removed and refilled with supporting materials. A dental crown is applied to the tooth to restore strength and stability. Some patients need additional oral or topical antibiotic treatment to restore oral health.

The Apicoectomy Process

When patients experience failed root canal therapy, extraction is typically the next step, but at Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we offer apicoectomy to preserve teeth that respond poorly to traditional endodontic treatment. This procedure involves cutting a small portion of gum tissue away, accessing the interior of the tooth from the root rather than the cap, extracting infected tissue, refilling the tooth, and restoring it from the root rather than the crown. Following the procedure, the gums reattach to teeth over a period of several months.

Find out more from Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

If you’ve experienced a failed root canal, contact Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today. In some cases, our skilled oral surgeons are able to save teeth from extraction with the advanced endodontic microsurgery known as apicoectomy. Regardless of your unique oral health needs, we’ll make recommendations to preserve natural dental structure, and restore oral health.

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