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What is an Apicoectomy?

Tissues in your mouth that are damaged or infected can cause severe pain. Sometimes a root canal is not enough to take care of that pain as there are many canals that the infection and/or injury can reside that often do not show up on x-rays. In these cases, a surgical procedure is necessary ' this procedure is called an apicoectomy. During this procedure, the tips of your roots and any infected tissue are removed. The ends of your roots are then sealed in order to prevent any further infection or damage to the tissue.

When is an Apiocectomy Necessary?

An apicoectomy is necessary when a root canal is unsuccessful and when retreatment is not an option or is also unsuccessful. This could occur as a result of a blocked canal, a canal that does not show up in an x-ray or a cracked tooth that cannot be saved. In general a second root canal is recommended before an apicoectomy, but there are several cases where a second root canal is not recommended, such as when a dental appliance, such as a crown or bridge is in place. Disrupting the area too many times can weaken the appliance. In these cases we can perform the apicoectomy, simply removing the tip of the root and sealing the area for protection.

How the Procedure Works

An apicoectomy is completed in less than 90 minutes in the office and is performed with a surgical microscope. We first create small incisions in your gums, removing them away from the bone in order to have access to the roots. The area is then evaluated with the help of a special dye, which will show any cracks in your tooth. The affected tissue and root tip is removed, the area is cleaned with ultrasonic instruments and the ends of the canals are sealed. Before the procedure is complete, x-rays are taken to ensure that every area was cleaned and any infected tissue was removed. If it is necessary, a bone graft will also be performed in order to strengthen the site of the surgery.

Recovery from an Apicoectomy

Recovery from the apicoectomy is fairly straightforward. In general, you will need to rest immediately following the procedure and will need to apply a cold compress to the exterior of the area on and off for the 12 hours following surgery. This is in an effort to reduce swelling and pain. If you are in pain or there is excessive swelling, typically ibuprofen can be taken in order to control it. If a pain medication is prescribed, you will need to take it as directed.

Caring for the Apicoectomy

We will advise you on how long before you will be able to brush in the area of the surgery, but when you do, it will need to be gentle to avoid harming the area. You should also follow a soft diet for a few days in order to allow the area to fully heal before eating anything hard or crunchy. In general, your stitches will be removed within 7 days of the surgery.

Saving your Tooth

Our main goal is to save your natural tooth, allowing you to avoid the need for tooth replacement in the future. The apicoectomy is a very successful procedure that provides long-lasting and oftentimes, permanent results. In general, the alternative to this procedure is the extraction of the tooth and future tooth replacement with a bridge, partial denture or dental implant. Even though this procedure is considered surgery and every procedure has its risks, it is typically the road most often taken by patients in an effort to save their natural tooth.
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11725 Highland Meadow
Houston, TX 77089-6827
phone: (281) 484-9400
fax: (281) 484-4124
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Southeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery | | (281) 484-9400
11725 Highland Meadow, Houston, TX 77089



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Southeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, 11725 Highland Meadow, Houston, TX 77089 - (281) 484-9400 - - 3/31/2024 - Page Terms:dental implants Houston TX -