A root canal procedure is done to treat and save a tooth that is damaged, infected or badly decayed. Most root canal infections can be managed by conventional root canal treatment. But in few cases where the infection persists even after root canal treatment or re-treatment, an apicoectomy is needed to clear the infection and fix the problem.
Our Specialist Endodontist Dr. Kavita Tarale tells us more about this procedure.
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What is apicoectomy?
The most common surgical endodontic procedure is called apicoectomy or root-end surgery. Apico means apex or root tip and – ectomy means removal or resection.
Apicoectomy is a minor yet sophisticated microsurgical procedure where the very end of the tooth’s root is removed along with the infected gum tissue attached to the root tip. The apex is then sealed with a filling to prevent micro leakage.
What is the apicoectomy procedure like?
Once the root canal procedure is completed, the endodontist will give the patient local anesthetic to numb the surgical site. The gum is cut and lifted to access the root tip. The infected tissue is curetted and the root tip is resected. The 3-4mm root canal is cleaned and sealed with biocompatible material. The endodontist will then suture the tissue back in place. The entire procedure is done under microscope and using ultrasonic instrument in a sterilized environment.
Will the procedure hurt?
The endodontist will administer local anesthesia to make the treatment more comfortable. Patients may experience slight discomfort while recuperating which is normal for any surgical procedures. Patients will be prescribed with appropriate pain medications to help ease discomfort.
How long is the apicoectomy treatment?
The treatment is done in single appointment. The procedure takes about 90-120 minutes depending upon the tooth location and complexity of the roots.
What if the patient does not want to do the surgery?
If the patient is not willing to get this surgical procedure done, then the tooth needs to be extracted and an implant can be surgically placed to replace the missing tooth.