Root canal therapy ideally removes an infection from within a tooth. But in some cases, the root of the tooth may contain multiple small branches or accessory canals where bacteria may hide and cause damage. If your tooth is badly infected or develops another infection after a root canal has been performed, the best treatment option may be an apicoectomy. A long-lasting solution, an apicoectomy from Capital District Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons in Albany, NY is an endodontic microsurgery procedure that removes the affected root tip(s) (apex or apices) and any diseased bone tissue surrounding the area. An apicoectomy only affects the root tip (not the visible crown portion) and can save the tooth from needing to be extracted while preserving the crown or other restoration on the tooth. If you have a recurring infection in a root canal-treated tooth, contact our practice to schedule a visit with experienced oral surgeons Drs. Stephen DeMarco, Diego Miron, Timothy Adams, or Luis Delgado and learn about your options for an apicoectomy.
Ideal candidates for an apicoectomy are patients who have received a root canal in a tooth, yet the infection has returned or remained in one or more of the root tips. After you receive root canal therapy, a crown restoration is usually placed to protect and strengthen the tooth. If the presence of the crown makes a second root canal or retreatment difficult, an apicoectomy may also be considered to save the tooth. Other situations in which an apicoectomy may be ideal is when tooth roots curve or bend in a way that makes proper root canal therapy extremely difficult or potentially unsuccessful. Regardless of the cause of infection, our Albany, NY clinical team will use advanced cone beam imaging scans to evaluate the roots of the affected tooth and accurately determine if an apicoectomy is a good treatment option to restore oral health.
What to Expect
Before starting apicoectomy treatment, our surgical team will examine your mouth and then talk about your treatment options and expected outcomes. Apicoectomies are surgical procedures that are performed under local anesthesia and may be combined with sedation techniques to improve your comfort or minimize any dental anxiety. When you are ready, our team will create an incision in your gums and bone to reveal the tooth root. The infected tissue and root tip(s) will be surgically sectioned and removed. We will use advanced techniques to ensure the infected area is thoroughly treated and disinfected before suturing the gum tissues in the area. Instructions on how to care for your mouth and when to return for a follow-up exam (or to have sutures removed) will be provided at the end of your visit.
Following the procedure, a prescription for pain medication or antibiotics may be given. You can use cold compresses or ice packs to alleviate swelling following your procedure and may notice some soreness, numbness, or bruising for a few days. To help speed healing and protect the area, it is best to avoid hard or crunchy foods and treat the area with care and caution. Typically, your mouth should be healed in about two weeks after the apicoectomy; however, the bone may take several months to fill in. To minimize future problems, we recommend that you maintain a good home oral care routine with daily flossing and brushing along with routine preventive care visits as recommended by your general dentist.
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that is often partially covered by dental insurance plans. Prior to the day of your visit, our team will contact your insurance to learn about your coverage and estimate any personal costs. At Capital District Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we strive to make it as easy as possible to get the care you need and accept several payment methods, including third-party medical financing plans with CareCredit®.
When a tooth infection continues to impact your oral health following root canal therapy, the surgical solution of an apicoectomy may be the appropriate course of care. An apicoectomy removes the infected root tip(s) and surrounding infection while saving the tooth and preserving oral health. To find out more or to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified experts, contact Capital District Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons in Albany, NY right away.