An apicoectomy is an oral surgical treatment performed when a patient has an infection inside the tooth root. This infection can develop in the front teeth, which have one root, and at the back of the mouth in the premolars and molars, which have two roots. Infections inside the tooth root cannot be easily seen from the outside because they occur deep within the canal of the root, which acts as a roadway for nerves and blood vessels between the apex of the root (the tip) and the inside of the crown, also known as the pulp chamber.
Root canal therapy can often resolve infections within the tooth root; however, you may need an apicoectomy if the tooth develops another infection after treatment or if the problem persists. This treatment, also known as endodontic microsurgery, ensures that the tooth root does not develop additional infections or complications.
Why do I need an apicoectomy?
The purpose of an apicoectomy is to lessen and alleviate any problems with the infected tooth root before the patient loses the tooth. Some of the most common reasons dental professionals recommend an apicoectomy include
- Curved or Narrow Root Canals
Root canal therapy may not be successful in teeth with curved or narrow root canals because the shape prevents the dentist or surgeon from properly caring for the infected area. If this is the case, continued infection can occur, and an apicoectomy is often recommended.
- Small Root Branches
The small branches that connect to the tooth root and keep it anchored solidly within the jaw can be difficult to clean and seal during root canal therapy due to their size. This can result in continued inflammation, and an apicoectomy may be recommended.
- A Block in the Root Canal
In some cases, when a tooth has already undergone root canal therapy once, debris from the procedure may block the root canal. When the dentist attempts a second root canal, he or she may find the canal blocked, and an apicoectomy may be necessary to take care of the problem.
If you are in need of an apicoectomy, you will be referred by your dentist to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for your procedure. Before treatment, your surgeon will perform an oral examination and may take additional X-rays or 3D scans to develop the safest and most efficient method of solving the problem. During the procedure, the doctor uses a microscope to clean and seal the canal of the infected tooth root. This treatment takes approximately 30–90 minutes depending on the tooth being treated (front or back) and the severity of the problem. If your dentist recommends an apicoectomy, we encourage you to contact our office.
Where can I get an apicoectomy near Philadelphia?
The surgeons at Greater Philadelphia Oral Surgery located in Elkins Park, PA, are specialists in performing oral and maxillofacial procedures and treatments, including the apicoectomy procedure. Drs. Funt and Mogyoros service the entire greater Philadelphia area.