Apicoectomy in Owatonna, MN
When your tooth is damaged, decayed, or infected, you head to the endodontist for a root canal. But sometimes, a root canal alone won’t clear the infection or save your tooth. A minor surgical procedure called an apicoectomy, or root-end resection, may be needed when this happens. An apicoectomy is a permanent treatment solution that can significantly extend the life of a diseased tooth. At Owatonna Endodontics, we are experts in preserving and protecting natural teeth with apicoectomy surgery.
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What is an Apicoectomy?
Also known as a root-end resection, an apicoectomy is a specialized dental procedure performed on the tooth’s root end under the gumline. When inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth after endodontic treatment, your endodontist may perform apical surgery if non-surgical retreatment has not been successful or isn’t a good option.
In this procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to expose the underlying bone, and the infected tissue is removed. The very end of the root is also removed, and a small filling is placed to seal the root canal. Apicoectomies tend to be very successful procedures, with average success rates of around 97%.
Why Would I Need Apicoectomy Surgery?
Root canals often last a lifetime, but sometimes, the tooth doesn’t heal well and becomes reinfected. In this case, your endodontist will use an apicoectomy to remove damaged tissue to save the tooth and avoid extracting it. Apicoectomies are preferred to traditional retreatment of the root canals when a post or other obstruction prevents canal cleaning or if a new crown or bridge may be compromised by drilling into it to regain access to the canal system. Sometimes the disease or bacteria is confined to the root tips despite the canals being clean through their length from the previous root canal. Selective root removal and filling from the root tip can address such problems.
Is an Apicoectomy Painful?
Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day.
Root-End Surgery Process
When Dr. Beasley recommends apical surgery, he will usually request that a 3D scan (CBCT) be taken so that he can have a full, 3-dimensional view of the root and surgery site. Sometimes, this is also used to ensure that the patient is a good candidate for surgery.
- Anesthetic applied – We’ll use an anesthetic to numb the area before starting the apicoectomy procedure to ensure maximum comfort.
- The endodontist opens the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone – After the area is numb, Dr. Beasley makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth root.
- The infected tissue is removed – We’ll then remove the inflamed or infected tissue.
- The end of the root is removed, and a small filling is placed to seal the root canal – Dr. Beasley will also remove the tip of the tooth’s root and seal the end of the root canal with a small filling. A few stitches are used to close the gum tissue, and the bone heals around the end of the root over the next few months.
Root-End Surgery Recovery
An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure, but for most patients, recovery is minor. You may experience swelling, soreness, minor bleeding, and numbness after your procedure, but this should disappear within a few days. Dr. Beasley may prescribe antibiotics to help fight an existing infection or prevent postoperative infection. For pain, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are normally sufficient.
At Owatonna Endodontics, we primarily use dissolvable sutures, so no immediate follow-up appointment will be required. In 6 months, you’ll come in for an evaluation to ensure that the bone around the tip of the root is healing adequately.
Generally, apicoectomies cost between $900 and $1,300. Luckily, insurance typically covers all or part of the cost, so you will likely only pay a small fraction of the cost.
Root-End Surgery at Owatonna Endodontics
An apicoectomy is a standard procedure that could save your natural tooth from infection or removal. If you’ve previously had root canal treatment or retreatment and are experiencing pain or infection in the area, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Dr. Beasley will perform a comprehensive exam and take X-rays to determine if an apicoectomy is right for you.