I had a raging toothache and infection that required a late March dental visit. The dentist did an apicoectomy on a tooth that had a root canal 2 years ago. I had a checkup and an x-ray two days ago. The bone is rebuilding, but a small pus sac on my gums shows an infection is lingering. My dentist gave me antibiotics to take for ten days. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of this infection? It’s going to be three months and counting on this issue. I’m waiting for it to clear before I get a new crown. I opted for a one-visit crown because I want to wrap this up and move on. Since I’ve had problems with this tooth, my dentist wants to wait before making the crown. Thanks. Kayle from Albany, GA
What Is an Apicoectomy?
- Unlike root canal treatment that approaches the pulp chamber by drilling a small hole in the tooth, with an apicoectomy, a dentist or endodontist surgically access the tooth through the gums.
- The surgery allows the dentist to access the root tip and remove infection or inflammation.
- The dentist places a small filling to seal the root tip.
- Stitches close the small incision.
Will Antibiotics Help?
Root canal treatment, apicoectomy, and any other apical surgery will help the tooth heal, and the infection will eventually go away. It’s essential for the dentist or endodontist to remove all the dead tissue inside the tooth and seal the end of the root well.
Although antibiotics can speed up the healing process, removing the source of the infection determines if the treatment will succeed.
Kayle, if the bone around your tooth is healing, it’s likely that your dentist removed the infection. Any residual infection will eventually go away, and the antibiotics will speed the healing process. It takes patience, but your tooth will heal. Afterward, your dentist will be willing to craft and fit your same-day crown.
If for any reason the issue persists or gets worse, ask your dentist to refer you to an endodontist, or root canal specialist.
Dr. Rekha Reddy of Dallas, TX sponsors this post.