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An endodontist is also trained to perform a surgical procedure called an apicectomy, otherwise known as root end surgery, root resection, or a root-end filling.

Apicectomy is necessary when one or more root canal treatments have failed to stave off a pulp infection. The surgery involves trimming off the end of the tooth root and sealing it with a filling material to remove the infection at its origin.

Why didn’t my root canal treatment work?

The root canal of a tooth can be extremely intricate. While a dentist will take every precaution to remove all traces of infected tissue, in some cases, bacteria can remain in tiny sub-branches of the central canal. Most endodontic specialists will carry out a second root canal treatment before considering an apicectomy.

With advances in medical imaging technology such as the 3D intraoral scanning equipment we use at the Banning Dental Practice, the exact shape and structure of a root canal are much easier to identify, significantly reducing the risk of complications.

What should I expect during my apicectomy?

Before the surgery, your dentist will carry out a thorough examination, including 3D scans of the affected tooth and root canal. They may also provide you with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, or antibacterial mouthwash.

On the day of your apicectomy, your dentist will first administer a local anaesthetic using The Wand®. They will make a small incision in the gum and lift it away to gain full access to the tooth root.

The dentist will then remove any infected tissue, including any cysts that have formed on the root, before trimming off the root tip. Finally, they will clean the canal thoroughly, seal it with a special filling material, and close the incision with stitches.

Does an apicectomy hurt?

The computerised anaesthesia administration technology we use at Banning Dental Practice ensures you receive the right amount of anaesthetic in the right place. You will remain awake during the procedure, but you should not experience any discomfort.

How will I feel afterward?

Following an apicectomy, you may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising, particularly from the day after the surgery. Any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

To aid the healing process, avoid aggravating the surgery site. Don’t brush the area, rinse your mouth vigorously, lift your lip, or eat tough foods, as you may disrupt your stitches or the blood clot that forms in the wound.

You may also experience some numbness in the area. This is normal but mention it to your dentist anyway. Side effects should subside within 14 days of the surgery. Typically, your stitches will be removed within 1-2 weeks of the procedure.

If you are experiencing complications following a root canal treatment, contact the Banning Dental Practice to book an appointment with an endodontic specialist.

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