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An apicoectomy is an oral surgical treatment performed when a patient has an infection inside the tooth root. This infection can develop inside the front teeth, which have one root, and in the premolars and molars, which have two roots, at the back of your mouth. 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 root (the tip) and the inside of the crown, also known as the pulp chamber.
Many times, infections within the tooth root can be solved with root canal therapy; however, if the tooth develops another infection after treatment or the problem persists, an apicoectomy is usually recommended. This treatment, also known as endodontic microsurgery, ensures that the tooth root does not develop additional infections or complications.
The purpose of an apicoectomy is to mitigate and remove any problems with the infected tooth root before the patient loses the tooth. Some of the most common reasons an apicoectomy may be recommended include:
The presence of 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 may be 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 to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for your procedure. Prior to treatment, your doctor will perform an oral examination and may need to take additional x-rays or 3-D scans to develop the safest and most efficient method for solving the problem. During the procedure, the doctor will use a microscope to clean and seal the canal of the infected tooth root. This treatment can be performed in 30-90 minutes depending on the tooth being treated (front or back) and the severity of the problem. If you are in need of an apicoectomy, we encourage you to contact our office.
Northeast Surgical Specialists maintains two office locations in Queensbury & Saratoga Springs, NY, and offers various oral surgical procedures and treatments, including apicoectomy procedures. Drs. Kelling and Condry service all of Saratoga and Warren Counties including Corinth, Mechanicville, Schroon Lake, Wilton, Saratoga, Saranac Lake, Glens Falls, Ballston Spa, Greenwich, Ballston Lake, Fort Ann, Hudson Falls, Granville, Lake George, Warrensbury, Ticonderoga, Hoosick Falls, Greenfield Center, South Glens Falls, Galway, Burnt Hills, Clifton Park, Gansevoort, Cambridge, Milton, Lake Placid, Gloversville, Malta, and Queensbury.
If you just want to ask a few questions, give us a call. You can find all the ways to contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.