Though you cannot see the soft root of your tooth buried under your gum, these roots play an important role in oral health. If you do not get proper treatment for an infection or damage to the root of your tooth, you can end up losing your tooth. Fortunately, an apicoectomy can fix the damage and let you keep your teeth. If you are considering an apicoectomy at Lovett Dental Webster, this guide will give you all the details you need to know about the surgical procedure.
What Is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that addresses damage to the roots of your teeth. Also called a “root resection” or “root-end surgery,” this procedure involves removing and sealing the root end of a tooth. The surgeon starts by making a tiny incision in the top of the gum, right above the affected tooth. Then your oral surgeon will use a small scalpel to cut away any infected or otherwise damaged tissue, including the tip of the root.
Once surgeons remove the end of the root, they will then close up the cavity. In cases where your doctor only removes only a small portion of the root, you might just need a couple of stitches. However, if your doctor took out a lot of tissue, your surgeon may fill in the area with a bone graft or other biocompatible material to support the area. Once the surgical site heals, your tooth can continue to function normally.
How to Tell If You Need an Apicoectomy
An apicoectomy is a serious surgical procedure, so doctors do not recommend it for every case of root damage. Instead, doctors only use this technique in situations where a root canal is not working. In some cases, a dentist may recommend an apicoectomy after a root canal has failed.
However, if the root damage is very extensive, your doctor may go ahead and suggest an apicoectomy without ever trying a root canal. Typically, it is easy to tell if you are having problems with the root of your tooth since it frequently causes severe tooth pain. Though rare, some people may not notice tooth pain even while chewing. Some of the more subtle signs that the roots of your teeth are not healthy include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures that lingers after you remove the heat or cold
- A tooth that gets darker or more discolored than surrounding teeth
- Swelling or tenderness of the gums
- A pimple or boil on one of your gums
- Deep cracks, chips, or decay in your tooth
Some people may not experience any symptoms at all, so it is important to let a dentist evaluate your teeth to determine whether an apicoectomy is necessary.
What to Expect When You Get an Apicoectomy
When you receive an apicoectomy, your dentist will perform it under local anesthesia, where you are awake but have your mouth numbed. However, sedation dentistry is available for patients who are extremely nervous. After the surgical procedure, you can usually go back to normal activities within 24 hours. There may be slight bleeding in the area, and the mouth and face area may swell. Bruising appears for some patients, but it goes away within 10 days. There may be slight tingling in the area or sensitivity to touch as it heals. As long as you follow your doctor’s post-operative care instructions, you should be able to use your teeth normally within a week.
Learn More at Lovett Dental Webster Today
At Lovett Dental Webster, we want to make sure we provide you with the best possible dental care. In addition to root canals and apicoectomy, our office also offers other services such as:
- Routine dental cleanings
- Braces and clear aligners
- Tooth crowns and veneers
- Composite colored tooth fillings