What is an apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is a procedure performed on the roots of the teeth. This is an oral procedure performed after a root canal has failed to fully heal the infected tissue. To begin the surgery, Dr. Bobst will check to see if there are any breaks or cracks in the tooth. If there are, then the tooth will have to be removed, and the apicoectomy will not be possible. However, if the tooth is intact, Dr. Bobst will begin the procedure by extracting the root tip along with the infected tissue. After all of the infected areas are removed, the tooth’s canal is cleaned and sealed off. An apicoectomy typically takes about 30–90 minutes depending on the complexity of the root structure and the position of the tooth in the patient’s mouth.
In many cases, infections within the tooth root can be solved with root canal therapy. But if the tooth develops another infection after treatment, or the problem persists, an apicoectomy is usually recommended. This treatment ensures that the tooth root does not develop additional infections or complications.
Why do I need an apicoectomy?
The purpose of an apicoectomy is to alleviate any problems with the infected tooth root before the tooth is too damaged and has to be removed. Some of the most common reasons an apicoectomy may be recommended include
- Small Root Branches. These root branches that connect to the tooth root and keep it anchored solidly within the jaw can be difficult to clean and seal during root canal therapy due to their size. This can result in continued inflammation, and an apicoectomy may be recommended.
- Curved or Narrow Root Canals. Root canal therapy may not be a successful course of treatment in teeth with curved or narrow root canals. The curved shape prevents the dentist or surgeon from properly caring for the infected area. If this is the case, continued infection may occur, and an apicoectomy will be recommended.
- A Block in the Root Canal. If a tooth has already undergone root canal therapy once, debris from the procedure may become lodged and block the root canal. The dentist may attempt a second root canal and could find the canal blocked, and an apicoectomy may be necessary to take care of the problem.
During the procedure, Dr. Bobst will use a microscope to clean and seal the canal of the infected tooth root. Typically, this treatment can be performed in 30–90 minutes depending on the tooth being treated (front or back) and the severity of the condition. If you are in need of an apicoectomy, your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for your procedure. Prior to treatment, your doctor will perform a thorough oral examination and may need to take additional X-rays or 3D scans to develop the most efficient method for treatment. If you are in need of an apicoectomy, we encourage you to contact our office.