An apicoectomy, also called a reverse root canal, is an endodontic procedure that removes the apex of the tooth's root. This procedure takes place after a root canal and finishes what the root canal started. Thus, if a root canal has not removed all infected tissue, or if infections persist after a root canal, dentists may suggest apicoectomies.
Preparation for an Apicoectomy
If an endodontist intends to use general anesthesia, patients are told to refrain from eating and drinking for 6-8 hours before the surgery. It is also important to have a clean mouth for the surgery, and patients are asked to rinse with anti-bacterial mouthwash before the start of the procedure.
The Apicoectomy Process
Once local or general anesthesia is administered, the endodontist proceeds to cut through the patient's gum in order to reach the root of the tooth. The root tip is then removed, and the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and sealed with a filling to prevent further infection. The endodontist then uses stitches or sutures to close the cut so that the gum can start to heal. While timing can vary depending on the extent and location of the infection, the entire apicoectomy procedure can be finished in as little as an hour.
After the procedure, the endodontist may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics. Patients should rest and use ice packs for 12 hours after the procedure. Constantly interfering with the cut can result in loose or torn stitches.
Additionally, patients are advised to avoid chewy and hard food. They're also told to stop the consumption of overly hot or cold food. Proper oral hygiene must be maintained after the procedure and patients should be careful to brush their teeth gently in order to allow the cut to heal.
If you're having problems after a root canal and suspect you may need an apicoectomy, schedule an appointment at Oak Endodontics & Implant Dentistry by calling (703) 272-4389. Ahmed Matri, DDS and can check out any and all dental problems and determine whether or whether not you need an apicoectomy.