Apicoectomy in Lexington & Belmont, MA
Although root canal treatment usually allows us to save a damaged or infected tooth, apical surgery may be indicated instead of or in addition to root canal therapy in certain cases. This treatment, also called an apicoectomy, allows us to detect microscopic fractures or hidden canals not seen on radiographs, treat injured root surfaces and bone, and remove calcium deposits from canals.
In this microsurgical procedure, the endodontist opens the gum tissue near the tooth to see the underlying bone and to remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The very end of the root is also removed. A small filling may be placed to seal the end of the root canal and few stitches or sutures are placed to help the tissue heal.
Over a period of months, the bone heals around the end of the root. Local anesthetics make the procedure comfortable, and most patients return to their normal activities the next day. Postsurgical discomfort is generally mild.
***Content provided by the American Association of Endodontists
What Happens During Apical Surgery
Apical surgery is a common endodontic procedure that may be advised if the bone around the tip of the root, or apex, is still inflamed or infected following root canal therapy.
To keep you comfortable during the treatment, your tooth and the gum tissue surrounding it are numbed. The apex and any inflammatory or infected tissue are removed through an incision made in the gum tissue. A filling is used to seal the end of the root canal if necessary, and sutures are used to close the incision.
You should expect some discomfort and inflammation at the incision site after apical surgery. This can usually be addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers. After apical surgery, the majority of patients are able to return to work or school.
Frequently Asked Questions About Apical Surgery
How long does apical surgery take?
Because the length of time required depends on the complexity of your canal structures, we will let you know what to expect during your consultation.
How painful is an apicoectomy?
Apicoectomy is painless since a local anesthetic is used to numb the tooth and tissue surrounding it, so you won't feel anything other than movement and pressure. You'll notice some soreness in the hours after your surgery, as the anesthetic wears off.
Are you awake during an apicoectomy?
The majority of patients choose to remain awake throughout their apical surgery. If you are nervous, please let us know prior to your appointment and we can go over sedation options with you.
How do you know if you need an apicoectomy?
If your tooth continues to be painful after a root canal treatment, you may need either apical surgery or endodontic retreatment. During your consultation, we’ll explain each option in-depth and offer our recommendation.
Does insurance cover endodontic surgery?
Endodontic surgery is commonly covered by dental insurance plans, although they do vary from one provider to the next. To verify your benefits, we recommend contacting your insurance provider.
Call us today to schedule your appointment.