Is a severe toothache negatively affecting your daily quality of life? Does it seem like the same tooth that gave you serious problems last time? Even if you have undergone past endodontic treatment such as a root canal, infection or decay can sometimes reappear in the same tooth later down the line. Trying to fight through tooth pain in Huntsville is not worth the discomfort or future problems that could develop. Instead, talk to an endodontist about how an apicoectomy can eliminate your dental pain once and for all.
What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy, also known as a root end surgery, is a minor surgical procedure that removes the tip of the tooth root in order to eliminate infection and preserve the function of the natural tooth structure.
Apicoectomies are sometimes necessary when an infection reappears months or even years after a patient has undergone root canal treatment to preserve a damaged or infected tooth. Although root canal therapy is typically effective at completely removing the infected pulp inside a tooth’s root canal, in rare cases, the treatment may not be successful.
When infection does reemerge after root canal failure, an apicoectomy if often the last chance to save a natural tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
What to Expect from the Apicoectomy Procedure
Here are the steps an experienced endodontist in Huntsville takes when completing an apicoectomy:
- First, the endodontist makes a small incision in the patient’s gum and lifts it away from the tooth and bone. Some small amount of bone may need to be removed to access the tooth root.
- Next, he or she removes the infected tissue and the apex, or tip, of the infected tooth root.
- Finally, the endodontist will clean the area and seal the end of the tooth’s canal with a biocompatible filling to further prevent reinfection.
- After the surgery is complete, the endodontist may take an X-ray of the area before stitching the tissue back into place.
In just 30 to 90 minutes, your tooth infection can be removed and dental pain relieved with an apicoectomy!
Is an Apicoectomy Painful?
Local anesthetics make apicoectomies a comfortable, pain-free procedure. Indeed, most patients return to their normal routines the very next day!
While you may feel some discomfort or slight swelling afterward, this is a normal part of the healing process following a surgical procedure. Your endodontist will recommend or prescribe appropriate pain medication to help alleviate any slight pain.
Remember, if left untreated, a damaged or infected tooth can not only cause a tremendous amount of pain, but also worsen to the point that extraction is the only remaining option. To preserve a natural tooth after root canal failure, talk to an endodontist in Huntsville today.
About the Author
Dr. Deborah Bishop is an experienced endodontic specialist dedicated to helping residents of Huntsville and surrounding Alabama communities save their natural teeth and eliminate dental pain. A former president of the Alabama Association of Endodontists, she was the first endodontist in all of Alabama to use a surgical operating microscope in her practice. Individuals with severe dental pain can contact Dr. Bishop via her website or by calling 256-882-5161.