An apicoectomy, or root-end resection, is a surgical procedure that can help you avoid the need for tooth extraction if infection returns following a root canal. Dr. John S. McIntyre performs this treatment at his historic Brooklyn, NY, oral surgery office. Since 1982, he has provided the community with exceptional oral surgery in a calm, caring environment.
Eliminating Dental Infection
When decay advances to the pulp within the tooth, a root canal is usually recommended. This procedure involves removing all pulp from within the tooth, disinfecting the pulp chamber, and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection. The root canals can be very complex, with tiny detours that can foster bacteria following a root canal. An apicoectomy effectively removes the infected tissue and the very end of the tooth root. This prevents further infection and stabilizes the tooth, avoiding the need for extraction.
Candidacy for an Apicoectomy
Dr. McIntyre will review your medical history during a consultation. He will then take X-rays of your jaw to look for inflammation and other signs of infection. In dentistry, saving tissue whenever possible is the priority. If a tooth has a reasonable long-term prognosis, an apicoectomy may be recommended. You may be a candidate for an apicoectomy if infection occurs after an initial root canal, or if it is determined that a second root canal probably will not be successful. This is often the case when a tooth has been restored with a crown, or when the tooth is supporting a dental bridge.
Dr. John S. McIntyre has served Brooklyn's oral surgery needs since 1982.
The Apicoectomy Procedure
If Dr. McIntyre determines an apicoectomy is necessary, we will schedule an appointment in our office. The procedure can typically be performed in about one hour. It consists of five fundamental steps:
- Anesthesia: To make sure you are comfortable, local anesthesia will be administered to numb your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues.
- Incisions: Small incisions will be made in the gum tissue. Next, some drilling may be necessary in order to access the tooth roots.
- Removal of Infected Tissues: Once accessed, Dr. McIntyre will remove any inflamed tissue. Using special dental instruments, the end of the tooth root will be separated and removed.
- Filling: After the surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, a filling material will be placed to seal the end of the canal. In our practice, Dr. McIntyre only uses high-quality biocompatible materials.
- Sutures: Once the filling has been placed, the tissues will be repositioned and sutures will be used to close the incisions and protect the surgical area.
Healing and Recovery
Some discomfort and swelling can be expected following any surgical procedure. Any prescribed medications should be taken as directed. For the first 24 hours, a cold compress can be applied to help diminish swelling. This should be done in 20-minute increments for the best results.
Most patients are able to resume normal activity the next day. However, you should avoid exercise and other strenuous activity for the first 48 hours. We will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions for a successful recovery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have undergone a root canal, but are experiencing further infection, an apicoectomy may be recommended. To explore your options, schedule a visit with Dr. McIntyre. You can call our office at (718) 638-2200 or contact us online.