Treat Infections Inside the Tooth Root
When a patient has an infected tooth root, an apicoectomy may be necessary. This infection can develop in either the front teeth or at the back of the mouth in the premolars and molars. Since infections can occur deep within the canal of the tooth’s root, these infections cannot be easily seen from the outside.
Root canal therapy is a common treatment for this type of infection. However, if the problem persists or the tooth develops another infection after treatment, an apicoectomy is usually recommended. Also known as endodontic microsurgery, this treatment ensures that the tooth root does not develop additional infections or complications.
Reasons for Apicoectomy
The purpose of an apicoectomy is to treat an infected tooth root so that the natural tooth isn’t lost. Some of the most common reasons for an apicoectomy include:
- Small root branches. The small branches that connect to the tooth root and keep it secured within the jaw can be difficult to clean and seal during root canal therapy, which can result in continued inflammation.
- Curved or narrow root canals. Curved or narrow root canals prevent the dentist or surgeon from treating the infected area properly, which can lead to continued infection.
- A block in the root canal. In some instances, when a tooth has already undergone root canal therapy, debris from the procedure may block the root canal. When the dentist attempts a second root canal, they may find the canal blocked. An apicoectomy can resolve this problem.
Your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you are in need of an apicoectomy. Before treatment, your surgeon will perform a thorough oral exam, including imaging, to develop the safest method for treatment. Oral surgeons are specially trained to administer all forms of anesthesia and will ensure you feel comfortable and at ease throughout the procedure. In general, an apicoectomy can be performed in 30–90 minutes.
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