My dentist did a root canal and crown on my top right first molar, but it failed. He referred me to an endodontist in late August, and I had an apicoectomy. I had a checkup this morning, and although the bone is rebuilding, I have a small pus sac on my gum. The endodontist prescribed an antibiotic to take for seven days. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the infection? I was thinking about calling another dentist and getting an urgent appointment within the next two days. Thank you. Paxton from Dallas
Thank you for your question.
We want to provide our readers with an overview of the difference between root canal treatment and an apicoectomy.
What Is the Difference Between Root Canal Treatment and Apicoectomy?
Standard root canal treatment is non-surgical, but an apicoectomy is root canal surgery. One accesses a tooth from the top. And the other treats the tooth from its roots.
- Root canal treatment – A dentist or endodontist makes an opening in the crown, or top, of your tooth to remove infected tooth pulp.
- Apicoectomy – An endodontist makes an opening through your gums to access the tooth roots. They will remove any infected tissue and the root tip. Sometimes, the doctor will seal the root tip with a small filling. After stitching the root tip closed, the endodontist will allow time for your jawbone to heal around the root.
Do You Need Antibiotics After an Apicoectomy?
The key to healing after an apicoectomy is removing the source of the infection and sealing the root tip. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to promote healing.
When the bone around the end of the root is healing, the infection is likely gone. Your endodontist prescribed the antibiotic to promote healing. But there is nothing you can do to speed up the process.
Do You Need a Second Opinion?
You only need a second opinion after an apicoectomy if your pain and swelling increase despite antibiotics and the area is not improving. Your description sounds like your tooth is stable, and you do not need to schedule a prompt appointment with another dentist.
Siny Thomas, DDS, a Sugar Land, Texas cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.