While most dental infections are confined solely to the teeth, if left untreated, one can easily spread beyond the root of a tooth (called the “apex”) and into the nearby jawbone, causing even more pain and damage along the way. To help with this kind of problem, Dr. Mark Barr can provide a surgical endodontic treatment called an apicoectomy. With it, he can eliminate a serious infection, save a tooth, and provide sustained pain relief at the same time, all the while keeping a patient completely comfortable.
As we touched on above, it’s possible for a dental infection to reach beyond a tooth and actually settle within the jawbone right next to it. As you can imagine, this can cause quite a bit of pain, swelling, and inflammation in the area. Without endodontic treatment, this part of the mouth will eventually break down, leading to tooth loss, and the infection will likely spread to the surrounding teeth as well.
A patient should seek out endodontic treatment if they experience the following:
When a patient comes to us exhibiting these kinds of symptoms, our first step is to examine their mouth and take an X-ray of the area. If we find that yes, they have an infection that has reached the jawbone, we’ll schedule them for an apicoectomy right away. Thanks to Dr. Barr’s decades of experience, he’s able to perform this sensitive procedure right in-office.
We know that needing any kind of oral surgery can make anyone feel nervous, so before we begin any treatment, Dr. Barr will sit down with a patient to answer any questions they have and address any concerns. For especially nervous patients, safe and effective dental sedation is available to ensure a stress-free experience.
On the day of the procedure, Dr. Barr will begin by thoroughly numbing the patient’s mouth. Once they can’t feel a thing, he’ll make a small incision in the gums right above or below a tooth to expose the underlying bone, and then he’ll remove a small portion of the bone so he can access the root of the tooth/infected area.
He’ll then remove all of the infected tissue, thoroughly clean and irrigate the area, fill the root of the tooth with a sealing material, and then close off the apex to prevent an infection from spreading again. The treatment area will then be sutured closed using self-dissolving stitches.
Most patients experience little to no discomfort during an apicoectomy, but they likely will feel a bit of sensitivity in the area for the next few days, though it will be nothing like what they felt going into the procedure! Dr. Barr may recommend that a patient take antibiotics afterwards just to be safe, and the patient will be scheduled for a follow-up visit in the near future to make sure they are healing correctly.
Over the years, Dr. Barr has literally helped thousands of people overcome the worst, most persistent kind of dental pain with this procedure, and he can do the exact same for you. If you’re ready to finally live a life free of a sore and aching tooth, give us a call today. You’ll be so glad you did.