An Apicoectomy is a common dental procedure where inflamed gum tissue and the end of the root of your tooth are removed while the top of your tooth is left in place. It is often called a root-end resection because it works on the end or tip of your root called the apex. It is a type of root canal procedure, this is reserved for more extreme cases where the infection affects a large area. Your dentist will remove a portion of the root tip as well as the stem of the infection. If your dentist removes the infected tissue and cleans the entire area, the canal is repaired with a biocompatible material and gutta-percha, which is a rubber-like material that seals your tooth from bacteria and reinfection.

Comparing Apicoectomy with other dental procedures

An apicoectomy is considered a minor dental procedure. It’s often performed on both adults and children to save a tooth. Difference between a Root canal and an Apicoectomy. A root canal is a procedure designed to treat inflammation and infection in the inner pulp tissue of your tooth. Inflammation in tooth pulp causes deep tooth decay and abscesses, which can spread to your bone if they’re not removed. During a root canal, your dentist opens up your tooth, removes the pulp and cleans the root area, and then fills and seals it. This is done to manage disease and decay without pulling your tooth. An apicoectomy, in contrast, only deals with the tip of the root and is usually performed after a root canal to fix the root or the tissues around the tooth. Your dentist will do root end surgery for a few reasons. The most common is to try to fix a tooth that’s already had a root canal. In most cases, root canals last a lifetime, but sometimes, the tooth doesn’t heal well and becomes reinfected.

Advantages of Apicoectomy

Your dentist will use an apicoectomy to remove damaged tissue to save the tooth and avoid pulling it out. You might also need a root-end resection. Find and treat problems that aren’t showing up on an X-ray, treat a fracture, treat a tooth with extra roots that can’t be treated another way, treat bone loss that causes loose teeth to remove a root that has a hole. Apicoectomies are also commonly used for tooth injuries in children. If the tooth is fractured or cracked after an impact, this procedure can help save the tooth. Before an apicoectomy, you might X-ray your teeth and jaws. It will help your dentist to see what happens with a root canal, the roots, and any surrounding bone and tissue.

Examination and Procedure – Apicoectomy

Patients usually undergo a procedure to numb the affected region around the teeth in the oral cavity before starting the procedure. Around the tooth, your dentist will make a small cut in your gums. They will examine the bone and remove infected tissue. They will remove the end of the root and refill the tip of the root canal to seal it up. Then they’ll put in a few stitches to help the gums heal. Your bone will heal around the root. A root-end surgery causes very little discomfort. It is a minor procedure done in your dentist’s office, and it doesn’t require any general anesthetic. It’s normal to have some minor bleeding after your procedure since your gums are cut and stitched, but this should go away after 1 to 2 hours. Rest with your head raised to slow down blood flow and stop bleeding. You can brush and floss your teeth as normal, but avoid the stitched area.

After Apicoectomy

After 24 hours have passed, you can gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. Add a half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and rinse after eating and before bed. If your root is fused or the tooth is beyond repair, your dentist might not perform an apicoectomy. In these cases, your tooth might need to be pulled instead. Apicoectomies can last a long time, while no procedure is guaranteed. One 2020 study found that 97% of apicoectomies lasted 5 years, and 75% were still in good shape after 13 years. Another study shows that an apicoectomy on a child’s injured tooth had completely healed after 1 year. A root-end surgery is not the best choice for every situation, but your dentist might try it to save your tooth.

Importance of Apicoectomy

An apicoectomy, also known as root end surgery, might be necessary if an infection develops or continues after a root canal. If this is suggested for you, it means your tooth cannot be saved by conventional root canal treatment. Often, the only alternative to an apicoectomy is removing the tooth, which could affect adjacent healthy teeth. The purpose is to preserve the function of your natural tooth. Many patients can continue normal activities the next day. You may experience discomfort and swelling as you heal. Make sure to follow postoperative instructions – including diet and brushing advice – given by your endodontist.

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