Apicoectomy is a minor surgical procedure performed by an endodontist to save a tooth from extraction. This is normally done when a patient has previously undergone a root canal treatment but the infection on the affected tooth reappears or persists.
During apicoectomy, the gum tissue is opened, exposing the infected tissue and underlying bone. In order to save the natural function of the tooth, the infected tissue is removed and the very tip or apex of the root of the tooth is trimmed. At the end of the procedure, the tooth canal is cleaned, filled and sealed to prevent infection. The flap of the gum is then stitched to help the tissue heal naturally.
Discomfort and swelling around the tooth where apicoectomy was performed is normal. Your local endodontist will provide you with aftercare instructions to make the pain more bearable and to help you recover faster.
An apicoectomy is carried out with anesthesia so when it wears off, you might start to feel pain on the surgical area. Ice packs will help ease the pain but you can also take over-the-counter pain relief medicines such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin.
If your endodontist prescribes you with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication, make sure to follow the required dose or quantity to avoid complications or overdose. You should also inform your endodontist immediately in case you develop an allergic reaction from the prescription medicines.
Food Intake or Diet
After surgery, you might have to temporarily change your diet to avoid tearing or loosening the sutures. You should drink plenty of fluids and eat soup, broth, pureed or soft food like tofu, fish or scrambled eggs. Avoid sticky and crunchy food like steak, popcorn, gum or pretzels as they may be difficult to chew and may poke at the stitched area. Carbonated, spicy, excessively hot or cold food and drinks should also be avoided as they may irritate or cause a burning or itchy sensation. You should also stay away from alcoholic beverages while on medication. You should also refrain from drinking from a straw as it may cause bleeding.
Maintaining proper dental care is important post-surgery. You should brush and floss regularly but gently to avoid irritating or scuffing the affected tooth. Rinsing with plain water or warm water with salt is advised, especially after eating to remove excess food but it should be done with care to prevent bleeding. You can also use mouthwash, though it may sting when it comes in to contact with the affected tooth.
You should limit your physical activities immediately after undergoing an apicoectomy. Lifting, bending, running – moving too much can increase your circulatory activity and may cause the wound to throb or bleed. Smoking should also be avoided as it may cause infection.
When recovering from an apicoectomy, it is important that you strictly follow your endodontist’s aftercare instructions to avoid complications or impede the healing the process. You should also attend follow-up appointments with your endodontist in Colorado so that they can closely monitor your recovery.