Retreatment with an Apicoectomy
Root canals typically have a high success rate. However, it is possible for the tooth to become infected again following treatment, leading to the need for retreatment. Common causes for root canal failure include:
|•||Issues at the apex, or tip, of the tooth root.
|•||Canals were missed during the initial root canal treatment.
|•||Your tooth has complex canal anatomy.
|•||The tooth was contaminated during initial treatment. For instance, saliva may have gotten inside the tooth.
|•||The crown was not placed promptly or was placed incorrectly.
|•||The crown was damaged after placement. For example, you may have suffered facial trauma that cracked the restoration.|
When your root canal treatment has failed, you may be recommended for an apicoectomy. This procedure is a type of endodontic treatment that involves removing the apex of the tooth and the surrounding damaged tissues. It is a complex treatment and is therefore often reserved as a last resort when one or two root canal treatments have failed. An apicoectomy allows the tooth to remain in the socket, helping to avoid the alternative of tooth extraction and replacement.
How is an Apicoectomy Done?
An apicoectomy is done under a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be provided if you are feeling anxious about the procedure. We start by making small incisions in the gums near the infected tooth. We then use a microscope and small, specialized tools to remove the tissue around the apex of the tooth root as well the actual apex itself. Next, the end of the canal is cleaned and sealed. A small fitting is placed over the canal, which aids in preventing reinfection. Once complete, your gums are sutured closed. During your recovery, the bone heals naturally around the tooth, enabling it to continue functioning normally.
Recovering After an Apicoectomy
Before you leave the office, you are provided with specific aftercare instructions that will help to ensure that you heal properly. These instructions include information on any medications you can or should take, including over the counter and prescription, what foods to avoid eating, and how to take care of your surgical wound. Instructions will also provide you with information on how to deal with common post-operative issues such as pain and swelling, and when you should call the office.
Although an apicoectomy is a more complex procedure, it does have several benefits. These benefits include:
|•||Preventing the development of more significant oral health complications.
|•||Alleviating tooth pain and restoring your quality of life.
|•||Preventing the need for a tooth extraction. An apicoectomy allows the tooth to remain in its socket.|
If you are experiencing symptoms of reinfection in a tooth previously treated with a root canal, an apicoectomy can help to save the tooth, avoiding the need for a tooth extraction. Call Carolina Mountain Endodontics at (828) 627-1999 today to learn more about endodontics and schedule your consultation.