Why Do I Need an Apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is a procedure typically reserved for an infected tooth after a root canal has failed to completely get rid of the infection. During a root canal, your dentist will go in through the top of the tooth to remove decayed pulp, then fill the cavity and top the tooth with a crown. Ideally, this will clean and cure the tooth of infection.

Sometimes, root canals aren’t completely effective at cleaning the tooth. That’s when your dentist may decide to do an apicoectomy. This may be your last option before resorting to a tooth extraction.

What Is an Apicoectomy?

Oftentimes, a second root canal isn’t worth the potential effects on the tooth. During an apicoectomy, rather than going in through the tooth again, your endodontist will create a surgical opening in the gums near the root. Through this opening, they will remove the very end of the root along with any other infected or inflamed tissue.

After cleaning the tooth, they might place a filling at the end of the canal to seal it closed.

Why Didn’t the Root Canal Work?

While root canals have a high success rate, around 98 percent according to the Cleveland Clinic, they do occasionally fail. One study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) listed these as possible reasons for root canal failure:

  • Bacteria that linger after treatment
  • Improper cleaning and filling of the canal
  • Overextended root fillings
  • An improper seal on the crown
  • Untreated primary or accessory root canals
  • Treatment or procedural errors
  • Complications caused by surgical instruments

How Do I Know If I Need an Apicoectomy?

If you received a root canal and the swelling and pain have persisted or returned, you may need an apicoectomy. If you have difficulty chewing, are experiencing fever and swelling, or if you have radiating pain, these symptoms constitute a dental emergency. Visit your dentist right away to be assessed for an infected tooth.

Why Do I Need Treatment, to Begin With?

Some factors that are out of your control could contribute to a tooth infection. However, most of the time, a tooth becomes infected because of poor dental hygiene. When bacteria are able to infiltrate the tooth through decay and spread through the pulp and surrounding tissues, an infection occurs.

If you have an untreated injury such as a cracked tooth, infection can spread this way, as well.

When to See a Dentist for an Infected Tooth?

With a cavity, you may experience pain and sensitivity, especially when chewing. You know this has escalated to an infection when you experience symptoms like these:

  • Severe and constant pain that spreads to other parts of your jaw or face
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Pain and discomfort when you chew, bite, yawn, or talk
  • Swelling, especially that interferes with your breathing
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen or tender
  • Bad breath

You may also have a visible abscess that, when it ruptures, can taste and smell foul. A ruptured abscess may immediately relieve pain, but this doesn’t mean your tooth is better.

Richmond, TX Root Canals and Retreatment at Haven Dentistry

If you’re suffering from the symptoms of an infected tooth, don’t wait to get help. At Haven Dentistry, we can treat your tooth at every stage of infection. We provide root canals, root canal retreatments, and anterior teeth apicoectomies.

We will do everything we can to restore your oral health and maintain your smile. For a Richmond, TX dentist who can do everything from general maintenance to deep cleaning and tooth whitening, call 832-261-7923.

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