When a patient is suffering from pain or discomfort caused by an infection of the inner pulp and nerve tissue of a tooth, a Root Canal Treatment is usually all that is needed to save the tooth.
However, in some 2% of all such cases of infection of the roots of a tooth, some bacteria cannot be removed from the very tips of the root via conventional Root Canal Treatment alone, and in these exceedingly rare situations an Apicectomy may be required.
An Apicectomy is a minor, pain-free, surgical procedure carried out by an oral surgeon or endodontist to remove the resistant infection – usually caused by bacteria becoming ingrained in the outside of the root tip or in the surrounding bone itself. Your specialist provider will surgically remove the tip of the root which is compromised by the embedded infection after which, just as in a routine Root Canal Treatment, your root canal system will be thoroughly disinfected and resealed to prevent reinfection by bacteria.
Often, a tooth that has undergone previous Root Canal Treatment will last you for the rest of your life when properly maintained and cared for. However in such rare cases where the root system doesn’t correctly heal, or the tooth becomes painful or reinfected months or even years after successful treatment, Apicectomy surgery may help save your natural tooth and allow you to avoid needing to have it extracted and replaced.
Damage to the root tip by recurrent infections to the area or else damage caused by operator error during an initial Root Canal Treatment are also reasons that might necessitate an Apicectomy. At Truly Dental Clinic your specialist dentist will always carry out a full assessment of your mouth to determine what solution is right for your unique case. A failed Root Canal Treatment may not present with any noticeable pain to the patient for many years, or with only an unusual boil or pimple along the gum. Another reason why it is so important to keep to the dentist-recommended twice yearly check-up exams following any Root Canal Treatment, as they can then monitor your tooth for any changes or complications – including making a diagnosis of a failed Root Canal Treatment, which usually requires X-Ray evidence to confirm.