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Ask the Experts
Also known as Apicoectomy, Apical Resection is a surgical procedure to remove the apex or the tip of the tooth’s root. This type of procedure is typically suggested only after a root canal has been performed, and the tooth is still causing you problems.
Reasons for an Apicoectomy
As many of us know, infected or inflamed tissue around the root of a tooth can be extremely painful and sometimes debilitating. In the rare instance that a conventional root canal treatment has been performed, but is unable to save your tooth, your endodontist may suggest an Apicoectomy. This will allow for the tooth’s preservation while eliminating any infection. Other reasons why an Apicoectomy may be recommended:
- Small adjoining root branches: Roots are complex and can contain many tiny branches. If these tiny branches cannot be cleaned and sealed when the root canal treatment is performed, inflammation can persist.
- Blocked root canal: In some cases, the surgeon is unable to effectively clean a root canal because it is blocked by a fractured file left behind from prior root canal treatment. Infection and debris can quickly affect adjacent teeth.
- Narrow or curved root canals: When the root canal is poorly shaped, the endodontic files cannot reach the root tip. Continuing infection or re-infection can occur.
What kind of fillings are available?
Under local anesthesia, an incision is made in the gum to expose the inflamed tissue and root. The problem area will then be removed using ultrasonic instruments. The root will then be sealed with a small filling and closed up with stitches.
Although this is a day surgery, the aftercare is crucial to proper healing. Patients are sent home with instructions and pain medication. Discomfort and swelling are normal after surgery. Your connective tissues will fully heal over the next few months.
A Re-Root Canal is a procedure which is carried out when the initial Root Canal treatment has been unsuccessful, or in the case of recurring infection in the tooth. Re-treatment may be necessary if decay accumulates in the affected tooth, there is a new infection, or if the tooth later cracks or becomes loose.
An Apicoectomy is different from a Re-Root Canal, as it is a procedure which removes the apex of the tooth, rather than the Root Canal procedure which cleans out infected pulp and fills in the Root Canals afterwards in order to restore the tooth. An Apicoectomy is more complex in nature than a Root Canal procedure.
The procedure is pain free and done under anaesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any pain. The procedure is very straightforward and is routine in an endodontic practice. After the procedure, you may experience some pain and swelling, and in some cases, bruising around the area. If you’re in pain, you can take over-the-counter painkillers to combat this.
After the procedure, you’ll need to eat softer foods and avoid anything which is particularly chewy or crunchy. Brush your teeth carefully as you will have to avoid the area until stitches are removed or fall out on their own. A follow-up appointment will be arranged, to check your progress and to see if the healing is well underway.
A year or so later, a final X-ray needs to be carried out to check how the bone has healed and if the procedure was successful. Apicoectomy has a high success rate, in the region of 80-95%, so it tends to be a one-off, straightforward procedure with positive outcomes for the patient.
If you’ve previously had a Root Canal treatment or Re-treatment and are experiencing pain or infection in the area, contact our online consultants on WhatsApp number +90 542 512 51 64 in order to be assessed by a qualified, experienced specialist.