Following a successful non-surgical endodontic treatment (root canal), the inside of your tooth should be completely free from any decay or damage. Unfortunately, the inside of the tooth can be difficult to navigate, and sometimes, infected tissue can be missed. Other patients experience reinfection years later. Whatever the case, we still may be able to save your tooth from extraction by completing an endodontic surgery called apicoectomy. Sometimes referred to as root tip surgery, this treatment allows us to remove damaged tissue, infection, or decay through the bottom of your tooth’s root tip. If you want to learn more about apicoectomy or any of our other endodontic treatments, please call the Huntsville endodontic specialty office of Deborah S. Bishop, DMD to schedule a consultation appointment today. If you are in pain, please let our team know. We will walk you through first aid and pain management over the phone.
Damaged or decayed dental pulp can lead to severe toothache, and in order to prevent the need for extraction, root canal therapy may be necessary. In rare cases, root canal therapy may not successfully heal the tooth. When non-surgical root canal therapy is not effective, endodontic surgery may be necessary. Apicoectomy, root tip surgery, is the most often performed surgical retreatment. In many cases, apicoectomy gives us one last chance to save a damaged tooth that would otherwise need to be removed following root canal failure.
Dr. Bishop performs the most common endodontic surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. This procedure is needed when the inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after endodontic treatment. In this procedure, Dr. Bishop opens the gum tissue near the tooth to expose the underlying bone, and the infected tissue is removed. The very end of the root is also removed, and a small filling may be placed to seal the root canal. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable. Most patients return to their normal activities the next day.
Before your apicoectomy, we will provide you with detailed preoperative instructions to help you prepare for the surgical treatment. We will need to discuss any past surgical treatments especially if you had an adverse reaction. Dr. Bishop will review your current medications and work with you and your physician to ensure your medications will not adversely impact the procedure. The day before any major procedure, you will need to avoid eating for at least eight to twelve hours prior to your surgery. We will provide other more specific guidelines during your consultation appointment.
Following your apicoectomy, you should closely monitor your teeth and gums for signs of treatment failure or infection. If your pain worsens, swelling increases, or you notice signs of infection like sores on the gums, inflammation, or fever, please call Dr. Bishop and her team right away. These are all warning signs that you may need retreatment or emergency repair.