If a root-filled tooth becomes reinfected or abscessed we may advise an apicoectomy
If a tooth which has already had the root filled becomes reinfected or abscessed we may advise an apicoectomy. A form of surgical root canal treatment, apicoectomy shortens the root to remove infected tissue and seals the end of the root within the bone.
The apicoectomy procedure
An incision made over the root to gain access to the infected portion will allow removal of diseased tissue. This also allows sectioning of the end of the root from the remainder of the tooth. Sealing the end of the open root canal before closure of the operation site completes this procedure. It will normally take a few months for the site of infection to heal and for new bone to regenerate.
To expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue requires an incision in the gum tissue. Removal of the damaged tissue along with the end of the root tip follows. With the damaged tissue removed, placement of a root filling and then suturing of the gum tissue will prevent infection.
It will take a few months for the bone to heal naturally around the root tip, restoring health.
Teeth affected by extensive decay frequently suffer severe inflammation within their pulp, which then dies.This dead tissue may then become infected leading to the formation of an abscess. In such a case, the root canal and pulp chamber require thorough cleaning and disinfection and finally sealing with a root filling.
This treatment known as a root canal therapy may eliminate the infection preventing loss of the tooth.
Late failure of root-filled teeth can occur and in such cases, the old root filling requires removal and replacement. Alternatively, an apicoectomy may be appropriate to remove only the infected tip of the root. Especially relevant, the majority of the root and previous root filling are retained.
Performed while you are awake, sedated or asleep, the access incision is minimal and consequently healing after the surgery is quick and generally free of complications. To make the post-operative healing period as comfortable as possible it is usual to be given antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and painkillers.
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All surgery carries inherent risks and complications and it is especially important that you understand and accept these risks prior to proceeding. This may include seeking a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.