What is an apicoectomy “apico”?
An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to seal the canal of the root and stitches are placed to re-attach the gums. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months and restores the tooth to full function. Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, the appropriate pain medication will be recommended. Please call our office at 919-367-2875 with any questions.
A Solution When a Traditional Root Canal is Unsuccessful
Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save a tooth with an injured pulp. Occasionally, a nonsurgical root canal therapy procedure will not be sufficient to seal the canals of the tooth, and your Endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays, but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces, or the surrounding bone, may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or apical surgery.
After Your Apical Surgery Appointment
After apical surgery has been completed on your tooth, the most important step after this procedure is your home care of the surgical site and returning to our office one week for future removal. The following list should help with any questions you may think of after you leave our office:
- Your tooth, lips, cheeks, gums, and tongue will be numb for a few hours after your appointment. Be careful eating, chewing, and drinking. You don’t want to injure yourself.
- You will leave the office with gauze, as a “band-aid”. Please remove it in 30 minutes.
- Due to your treatment and your body’s healing, the incision area will be tender. We recommend you take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) before the numbness wears off, and again this evening or before bed. This will help with the swelling and soreness. If the soreness does not subside in a few (three-four) days or it gets worse, please contact the office 919-367- 2875.
- Anytime you have been given a prescription, it is very important to take it as prescribed.
- Today and tonight do not eat ANY hot or spicy foods; place an ice pack on and off for 10 minute intervals; DO NOT rinse, spit or suck through a straw; avoid brushing and flossing around the incision site and sutures. Lastly, DO NOT SMOKE.
- Continue to brush and floss your OTHER teeth as usual.
- Tomorrow, use a saltwater rinse throughout the day to help with the healing of your gums.
- If you experience severe pain and/or swelling, please call our emergency number 919-491-7195 Dr. Burleson’s Cell Phone.