People tend to think a cracked tooth is nothing to worry about. Sometimes it is but in most cases you will be required to visit a professional dentist before the bacteria contained in the crack infect your tooth root or the jaw. There’s a team of highly professional dentists at family dental surgeons in Gosford who can help you deal with any oral problems. In case of a chipped or cracked tooth, a dentist will perform a root canal procedure to treat the infection. But if the root canal treatment fails, an apicoectomy procedure will be deemed necessary.
What is Apicoectomy Procedure?
All the teeth are basically held in place by roots. The front teeth(incisors and canines) have one root while the rear ones(premolars and molars) have two and three roots respectively which extend into the cheekbone. Apex is the tip of the tooth where nerves and blood veins enter the teeth and find their way to the pulp chamber via the tooth canal.
During a root canal re-treatment, the canal is cleaned and infected tissues removed. Root canal is a difficult procedure as many root veins are involved, it is possible for small infected debris of chipped tooth to go unnoticed. This causes new re-infection. However, with apicoectomy the whole root tip is removed with the inflamed or infected tissues. The gap is then sealed by a filling placed at the base of the root. The operation is sometimes called endodontic microsurgery because it involves the use of an active microscope.
Your dentist will require X-Ray pictures to determine the extent of damage. Prior to the surgery, you will be given mouth wash or rinse chemicals and anti-inflammatory antibiotics. The anesthetic used for apicoectomy procedure has twice the amount of epinephrine when having a filling. The extra amount is used to constrict blood veins preventing bleeding thus the root can be seen clearly. Initially, your heart rate will increase then subside after three to four minutes.
How It’s Done
To access the root during the apicoectomy, the endodontist will have to cut and lift the gum away. A few millimeters of the apex and the infected surrounding tissues are then removed. Prior to this, the endodontist will use a special die to determine if the tooth has extended cracks. If so, the tooth will have to be extracted. Only 3 to 4 millimeters are removed and it takes half to one and a half hours to complete the surgical procedure depending on the positioning of the tooth and the complexity of the damage.
Be sure to inform the doctor if you have high blood pressure or you are allergic to anesthetics such as epinephrine. This will help the endodontist plan well in case of an emergency or propose another alternative.
The procedure is not always a success and the tooth may have to be removed.
If the infected tooth is at the far back, the bacteria may end up infecting the sinuses. There is a potential of damaging major nerves too hence slightly more riskier. The endodontist will use the X-Ray images to determine if the procedure will be a success. It’s worth the risk as it will last you for the rest of your life.
You should have plenty of rest after the surgery, ice the area 10 to 12 hours a day and be sure to follow doctor’s instructions and take the antibiotics as prescribed. For quick healing, avoid brushing the area and take meals or drinks as advised by the doctor.