Cavities are the root cause of tooth loss. The tooth’s enamel is a soft substance insensitive to acids that protect our teeth. Exposed teeth can cause bacteria to infect the enamel, causing cavities under the surface.
In the absence of treatment, cavities can become more severe. If left untreated, they could cause the destruction of your teeth. This can lead to tooth pain, fractures and even loss of teeth.
The apicoectomy procedure is the best treatment to prevent tooth decay by eliminating the infection.
The Necessity of Apicoectomy Treatment
The root canals can become infected even after a root canal treatment. The endodontist removes the tooth’s root and the affected surrounding tissue if this happens. The reasons for recurring or constant infections include:
- Infection can spread to bones and tissue near the point of the root.
- The tooth decay occurs on the tooth’s root.
- Infection in the tiny branches along the edges of the primary root canal.
- Canals are narrow as a result of ageing and are harder to clean.
- Broken or cracked tooth root.
Detecting the Root Canal Issues
The dentist use x-rays and CBCT scans to study the tooth’s roots. The tooth’s root is protected by a thin layer of a bone-like substance called cementum. The damage to the protective layer could cause issues. Since the root is the one that holds the jawbone to the tooth, It isn’t visible without x-rays or any other digital imaging studies.
Difference between Apicoectomy and Root Canal Treatment
The tooth part above the gum line is cut through the gum near the inflammation in apicoectomy treatment. This is usually a better alternative instead of the root canal treatment, where the canals and pulp chamber are drilled open through the tooth’s crown causing tooth damage.
If the infection is very severe, bone grafting might be necessary to replace the loss of bone around the tip of the root. The graft stimulates new bone growth within the affected area. The endodontist can take the bone to make the graft out of your jaw.
Procedure of Apicoectomy
Based on the degree of the infection, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications before the day of the surgery to fight the infection. If you are at the dental clinic for your procedure, the dentist will numb the area with local anaesthesia before creating the cut.
Removing the gum tissue will make it easier to get to the root of your tooth. After removing the infected or inflamed tissue and a little bit of the root’s tip, your dentist will seal the root canal using a tiny filling to avoid further infection. The gum tissues are closed with stitches to allow the healing process to begin. It can take a few months for the part of the root to heal.
Medications and Recovery
Your dentist might suggest taking anti-inflammatory medication to treat any sensitivity, soreness, or discomfort that you may experience after the procedure. Since the area can be swollen and bruised, applying an ice compress on the cheek can help reduce swelling and pain.
Avoid smoking, eating food items that are difficult to chew. Don’t brush too hard as you could cause the stitches to loosen or dissolve the blood clot if you do. Both of which could slow the healing process.
While rare, nerve damage is possible, particularly if the procedure was done on a back tooth within your lower jaw. Though dentists employ operating microscopes to see more clearly during this endodontic procedure, it can damage the nerve close to surgery.
Contact your dentist if you experience numbness or pain in the jaw for more than a couple of days.