What is an apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy or apical surgery is when an incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function. At times, a bone grafting material has to be placed to aid in healing.
Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended.
There may be pain following your surgical procedure. To help you control this aspect of surgery, use pain medications as directed. For the majority of surgical procedures, Ibuprofen or Tylenol should alleviate the pain. Additional pain medications may have been prescribed for more significant pain. Do not take these on an empty stomach or nausea may result. If taking prescription pain medication, please do not drive a car or operate any equipment that may be hazardous.
Diet should be limited to soft foods for the first few days. Please do not attempt to chew hard foods. It is important to maintain a good diet. Avoid excessively hot liquids for the first day after surgery. Refrain from eating spicy foods as well as this may increase discomfort.
No rinsing for the first 24 hours. After the first 24 have passed, you may gently start rinsing with warm salt water. We recommend that you try to do this at least four times a day. Rinsing with peridex (.12% chlorohexidine) at least once a day will also help.
Swelling may accompany this procedure. It may be partially controlled by using ice packs. The packs must be applied for 15 minutes twice an hour the day of the procedure. After 24 hours, warm, moist compresses may be applied to help reduce swelling.
Occasionally, you will notice some blood in your saliva. This is not unusual. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs, discontinue any rinsing and avoid exertion. Apply direct pressure to the wound for 15 to 20 minutes. Please contact us if uncontrolled bleeding persists. Normal bruising may appear on the face following the surgery.
Please call the office if you start running a fever.
It is important that you maintain good oral hygiene during the healing phase of surgery. Brush your teeth as you normally would except for the area with stitches. You may gently clean this area with a Q-tip or gauze. Do not use a water pik for at least 10 days following surgery.
In the event of an emergency, please call the office and a doctor will assist you as soon as possible. If the emergency is severe, do not hesitate to go to the hospital if your doctor can not be reached. Always remember, if you have any questions, never hesitate to call the office.