An apicoectomy is an oral surgical treatment performed when a patient has an infected tooth root. This type of infection can develop in any tooth. Infections inside the tooth root occur deep within the canal of the root, which acts as a roadway for nerves and blood vessels. Therefore, these kinds of infections cannot be easily seen from the outside.
Sometimes, root canal therapy can be used to solve the problem of an infection within the tooth root but if the tooth develops another infection after treatment, or if the problem persists, an apicoectomy is usually the best course of treatment. An apicoectomy is also known as endodontic microsurgery, and 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 in hopes of saving the entire tooth. Some of the most common reasons an apicoectomy may be recommended include:
- Small Root Branches – When the tooth has small branches that connect to the tooth root and keep it anchored solidly within the jaw, it can be difficult to clean and seal during root canal therapy. Unfortunately, this can result in continued inflammation and an apicoectomy may be necessary.
- The Presence of Curved or Narrow Root Canals – Root canal therapy may not be successful in teeth with curved or narrow root canals. This is due to the shape, which prevents the dentist or surgeon from being able to properly treat the infected area. If this is the case, continued infection can occur and an apicoectomy may be recommended.
- A Block in the Root Canal – Sometimes, when a tooth has already undergone root canal therapy once, 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.
Prior to treatment, Dr. Zachary Weber will perform a thorough oral examination and possibly take additional x-rays or 3D scans to determine the safest and most efficient method for treatment. In most cases, 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 your general dentist determines you are in need of an apicoectomy, we encourage you to contact our office. Our friendly staff would be happy to schedule your treatment with Dr. Weber and restore you teeth to optimal comfort and function.