Discomfort or pain in the tooth or gums after apicoectomy usually lasts only for 4-5 days. By the 5th day, the pain starts to subside and slowly fade away. While the sutures take a few weeks to dissolve fully, you might take a few months to recover from apicoectomy. If you’re feeling extreme pain or swelling in your tooth even after 6 months of the procedure, then chances are it’s a failed apicoectomy, resulting in inflammation or infection. You should get a second opinion from an endodontist and get the treatment done as soon as possible.
An apicoectomy is needed when the standard root canal has failed to do its job, meaning even after a root canal, you still feel pain and swelling; you may need an apicoectomy.
We usually don’t like to go to a dentist for so many reasons- number one, being our fear. This is also why we push any discomfort or pain until it becomes unbearable and then visit the dentist.
Although this widely practiced habit by many adults lands them either in the removal of teeth, root canal, or something else, many people still follow this habit.
Just like brushing and flossing your teeth is beneficial for your teeth, visiting your dentist regularly will keep those pain and cavities at bay.
With my wisdom toothache, I was so hesitant to go to my dentist that there came the point where I couldn’t even chew from that side of the mouth. It ended up in the removal of teeth as it had already almost decayed and started troubling the adjacent tooth.
What is an apicoectomy, and who needs it?
Also known as root end surgery, an apicoectomy involves the removal of the root tip of an at-risk tooth and surrounding tissue.
The procedure is needed when inflammation or infection persists in the bony area around the end of your tooth, which a root canal wasn’t successful in healing.
Often, when a root canal fails to perform well, an apicoectomy is performed to save the tooth and avoid the whole process of dealing with the extraction of the tooth.
Generally, an apicoectomy is more invasive than a root canal, so the recovery period is also more extended and more painful.
What are the risks and complications of apicoectomy?
Some people have experienced further inflammation, infection, or even nerve damage after the apicoectomy procedure.
On the rare occasions when the procedure has failed to do well, either due to the lack of experience of the dentist or by not performing the procedure well, the symptoms after apicoectomy has worsened, making the patients more in pain and ending up getting the procedure done again.
One of the significant reasons for the failure of the procedure, according to a study done in 2011, is the gap in the filling at the end of the root, causing continuous leakage of surviving bacteria from the infected area to its peripheral tissues, which in turn led to inflammation or further infection.
Indications of a failed apicoectomy
The primary symptom of a failed apicoectomy is that there’s no relief in the patient’s symptoms.
If the area where the apicoectomy is performed doesn’t heal, or continues to pain, or has swelling or inflammation – it can be considered a failed apicoectomy.
So, if you still have continuous pain even 6 months after your surgery is done, chances are the dentist didn’t do the surgery well, causing you severe pain.
You might need a second apicoectomy if this has occurred, or your dentist might extract the tooth.
Make sure to get a second or even a third opinion before choosing a treatment plan.
Does bone grow back after apicoectomy?
Yes, but the jaw’s bone will take several months of recovery and time to grow back around the tooth.
How do I know if my tooth infection is spreading to the body?
If the tooth infection has spread to the body, you may experience symptoms like fever, nausea, increased heart rate, dehydration, swelling, increased breathing rate, and even stomach pain.
Is bone graft necessary after apicoectomy?
Although it’s not mandatory, after removing the infected tissues and a portion of the root tip, the tooth is sealed to prevent further infection. Only if it’s needed at that time, a bone graft also is placed for additional support.
You will get to know whether the apicoectomy procedure done on your at-risk tooth was a success or not. If the procedure has relieved your symptoms and there’s evidence of healing, and you experience no pain or swelling, you can say that the surgery was a success.
If you have consistent pain, it’s best to talk to another dentist and know why the first apicoectomy failed and what you can do next.