What are apicoectomies?

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This surgical procedure deals with a dental root problem. Infections around the root of a tooth are usually treated with dental canal work. However, when that doesn’t work, your dentist may recommend an apicoectomy.

Dental canal treatment involves your dentist cleaning around the tooth root to ensure that any infection, decay or plaque is removed, allowing the gum and tooth to become healthy once again. Sometimes, infection can return and your dentist can either attempt root canal treatment once again to clear away any infection, or if the problem appears to be deep-seated, they may suggest an apicoectomy.

A dentist’s aim is to help you keep your tooth. If you have an infection around the root of a tooth, it will cause decay of the tooth, causing you pain, and the tooth will eventually fall out. Root canal treatment is the first plan of attack in this circumstance, but if the infection returns after is has been cleaned up, your dentist will either admit defeat and perform an extraction to completely remove the tooth, or will try and save it by performing a surgical apicoectomy.

First, your dentist will cut into your gum to take a closer look at the root infection. A cracked tooth root will always be susceptible to infection, so an extraction may be the best option. If the tooth root appears to be strong, your dentist may slice away the root tip, removing the entire infection and allowing the tooth root to be completely cleaned and sealed, providing much better protection for the future. These surgical procedures that cut the root tip are called apicoectomies.

If your dentist suggests an apicoectomy as a way of removing infection from your tooth root, don’t be fearful. This procedure may well save your tooth and prevent extraction. Apicoectomies are performed under anaesthetic so it won’t hurt. However, you may experience some bruising, tenderness and swelling around your jaw after surgery