Drs. Fear, Lopez, Fasi, and Sanker can perform your apicoectomy at any of our three Michigan Oral Surgeons locations, including our Ann Arbor office, Plymouth office, Adrian office, and Dexter office.
When a patient has an infected tooth root, an apicoectomy may be necessary to treat the infection. This infection can develop in either the front teeth (which have one root) or at the back of the mouth in the premolars and molars (which have two roots). Infections inside the tooth root can occur deep within the canal of the root, which acts as a roadway for nerves and blood vessels between the tip of the root (the apex) and the inside of the crown, also known as the pulp chamber. Therefore, these infections cannot be easily seen from the outside.
Sometimes, root canal therapy can often solve the problem. 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.
Why do I need an apicoectomy?
The purpose of an apicoectomy is to relieve any problems with the infected tooth root so that the natural tooth isn’t lost. Some of the most common reasons an apicoectomy may be recommended 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 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 successful in teeth with curved or narrow root canals. The shape prevents the dentist or surgeon from caring for the infected area properly. If this is the case, a continued infection can happen, and an apicoectomy may be recommended.
- A Block in the Root Canal. In some instances, when a tooth has already undergone root canal therapy and debris from the procedure may block the root canal. When the dentist attempts a second root canal, he or she may find the canal blocked, and an apicoectomy may be necessary to take care of the 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 and possibly take additional X-rays or 3D scans to develop the safest and most efficient method for treatment. A microscope is used during the procedure to clean and seal the canal of the infected tooth root. This treatment can be performed in 30–90 minutes, depending on the tooth being treated (front or back) and the severity of the problem.
If your dentist determines you are in need of an apicoectomy, we encourage you to contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment with our friendly front desk staff. Drs. Fear, Lopez, Fasi, and Sanker are highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons, making them the most qualified dental providers to address your oral surgery needs.