What to Expect During an Apicoectomy
During a root canal procedure, a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist), removes infected tissue from inside the root of a tooth. Then, he or she tops the tooth with a crown or other type of restoration.1,2
Usually, a tooth that has had a root canal procedure can last a lifetime without problems. However, some people develop problems in their tooth after the procedure. For example, the tooth may become painful or it may become infected.2
In these cases, a surgical procedure called apicoectomy can help save the tooth.2
Removing Problem Tissue
Your endodontist or general dentist will give you local anesthetics, or painkillers, before an apicoectomy. These numb the area so it won’t hurt.2,3
During the procedure, the endodontist or dentist opens the gum near the bone. Then he or she may need to remove the swollen or infected tissue. A small piece of the end of the root may be removed as well. He or she may also place a filling in the root to seal the root canal. At the end of the procedure, he or she will close up the gum with a few stitches.2
Healing Takes Time
As your mouth heals after this procedure, you may notice some slight pain or swelling, which is normal. It usually takes a few months for the bone to heal after an apicoectomy.2
1 “Root Canal Treatment.” American Association of Endodontists. www.aae.org/patients/patientinfo/faqs/rootcanals.htm Accessed 2009.
2 “Endodontic Surgery.” American Association of Endodontists. www.aae.org/patients/patientinfo/faqs/endosurgery.htm Accessed 2009.
3 “Your Visit.” American Association of Endodontists. www.aae.org/patients/patientinfo/seeendo/yourvisit.htm Accessed 2009.