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Two important dental procedures that may be options for you if you’re suffering from infection or tooth fracture are root amputation and apicoectomy. Although similar in nature, these procedures have distinct differences.
The reasons you’d get a root amputation or apicoectomy is if you had a tooth that received a root canal treatment that didn’t completely solve the issue. After a root canal, certain problems can come up that a re-treatment cannot fix, and if left untreated, could lead to the loss of the tooth.
Here’s what to know about the root amputation and apicoectomy.
What is a Root Amputation?
Root amputation is the surgical removal of a mutli-rooted tooth. This is usually performed on the upper molars, because they have three roots, and is done in order to eliminate infection or prevent further loss of bone in an area where infection or tooth fracture has caused its loss.
What Type of Tooth Qualifies for a Root Amputation?
A tooth is a good candidate for a root amputation if a root that has been previously treated by a root canal treatment is suffering from embedded bacteria, severe bone loss due to infection or fracture, or decay in a concentrated area. If the root is suffering from decay, the rest of the roots need to have sufficient bone to support the tooth in question. Essentially, if the issue is only impacting one root, and the remaining tooth structure is healthy, a root amputation can be performed successfully to save the tooth.
[Related: How To Deal With Tooth Pain]
What Happens if I Don’t Get a Root Amputation?
If left untreated, the infection or decay can spread to the surrounding areas and result in one loss. This jeopardizes the stability not only of the tooth with the problem, but the surrounding teeth as well. Eventually the whole tooth will be compromised and will need to be extracted. Removing one root can help save the tooth and prevent you from needing to have it extracted and replaced with a partial, bridge, or implant.
What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is the removal of the tip (or apex) of the tooth’s root. An apicocectomy is performed usually after a root canal treatment if there is an incomplete resolution, or infection at the apical portion.
What Type of Tooth Qualifies for an Apicoectomy?
The majority of problems in teeth that have received root canals are caused by issues near the tip of the root. Apicoectomies are performed when a re-treatment will not be effective.
Indications for an apicoectomy include:
- Infection after root canal treatment or re-treatment
- Inability to clean root canal blocked by a broken file that cannot be removed
- A fracture of crack on the apical portion of a tooth root
- Curved root canal that prevents endodontic files from reaching the apex of the root
- Calcification in the tooth that prevents endodontic files from reaching the apex
[Related: Addressing Common Concerns About Root Canals]
An apicoectomy is often the last resort to save the tooth before extraction.
Are you unsure if you need a root amputation or apicoectomy? Contact Cascade Dental Specialists today for a consultation.
Feel free to check out our customer testimonials. for more about how we serve our patients’ apicoectomy needs.