Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Apicoectomy Specialist

Endodontic Partners of West Alabama -  - Endodontist

Endodontic Partners of West Alabama

Endodontists located in Tuscaloosa, AL

Sometimes, root canal therapy isn’t enough to save a damaged or decaying tooth. If that’s the case, you might benefit from an apicoectomy. At Endodontic Partners of West Alabama, expert endodontists Andrew Graves, DMD, and James Mills Jr, DMD, regularly use apicoectomies to save permanent teeth and preserve smiles. To make an appointment, call the office in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or schedule online today.

Apicoectomy Q & A

What is an apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is an endodontic procedure that saves a permanent tooth. You might benefit from an apicoectomy if you undergo a root canal but experience complications during the recovery process. In addition to reducing the risk of more serious issues, an apicoectomy preserves your smile, preventing the need for an extraction.

What does an apicoectomy involve?

At Endodontic Partners of West Alabama, the team performs apicoectomy onsite. Before starting the procedure, your provider administers a local anesthetic, numbing your mouth.  

Once the anesthesia sets in, your provider makes a small incision in your gum line to reach the root of your tooth. Then, your provider uses special tools to carefully remove the infected tissue around the root.

After removing the infected tissue, your provider cleans and seals your root canal (the space surrounding your nerve root). Then, they take a series of oral X-rays to ensure there are no areas where a new infection might take hold.

If your X-rays look normal, your provider stitches up your gum tissue, writes a prescription for pain medication, and explains how to care for your mouth while it heals.

Is an apicoectomy painful?

An apicoectomy takes longer than a traditional root canal, but it occurs under anesthesia, so you shouldn’t experience any pain. 

That said, once the anesthesia wears off, it’s normal to experience mild swelling, increased tooth sensitivity, and discomfort. Take your medication as prescribed, eat only soft foods for the first few days, and follow your provider’s instructions carefully.

What is recovery like after an apicoectomy?

After an apicoectomy, it typically takes two or three days to recover. During that time, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and take it easy.

To speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of an infection, your provider at Endodontic Partners of West Alabama might also prescribe antibiotics. While your mouth heals, brush and floss more gently than usual around your treated tooth.

Will an apicoectomy really prevent the need for an extraction?

Apicoectomies are typically very successful and have a proven track record. One study, conducted in 2020, found that 97% of patients experience excellent results up to five years after an apicoectomy. The same survey found that up to 75% of patients had good results 10-13 years later.

To see if you can benefit from an apicoectomy, make an appointment at Endodontic Partners of West Alabama by calling the office or scheduling online today.