What are the risks involved in apicectomy? | Dental Treatment Guide

There are very few risks associated with apicoectomy treatment, however those that are present should be outlined during your initial consultation with the endodontist who will perform your procedure. It is important that you understand all the risks before committing yourself to any surgery, and so if your endodontist has not raised the issue by the end of your consultation you should directly ask them or find a new individual to do the apicoectomy.

The actual procedure has proven very successful when an endodontist or dentist who is both qualified and experienced carries it out. The primary risk that is most common is that the apicoectomy may be unsuccessful. In these cases it may lead to the tooth requiring extraction and be replaced with a synthetic substitute. Further complications involve nerve damage and sinus infections.

Nerve Damage

The risk of nerve damage is highly dependent on whereabouts the tooth is located within your mouth. If the tooth needing the treatment is on the lower jaw and near the back, there is a higher risk of nerve damage as this is also the location of important nerves, including the mandibular nerve.

As the dental professional carrying out the procedure should be aware of this risk, it is likely that they will take an x-ray prior to the apicoectomy. This x-ray can show where the roots of the tooth lie in relation to the nerves and your dentist or endodontist can then decide whether or not the procedure is actually appropriate for you.

Sinus Infection

Like nerve damage, the risk of sinus infection is also influenced by whether the tooth is positioned in your mouth. If the tooth is found in your upper jaw, you are at a slightly higher risk of any post-apicoectomy infection spreading to your sinuses. In an attempt to prevent this from occurring, your dentist or endodontist will generally prescribe decongestants as well as antibiotics. It must be noted that these prescribed medications can interfere with other drugs that you may be taking and so it is important to let your dentist know if you are taking any other prescribed medicines.

When is it vital that you contact a medical professional?

You should contact the individual who performed your treatment if the area that the apicoectomy was performed on is displaying prolonged pain and/or swelling. This could be a sign of nerve damage and it is therefore important that the area is analysed so appropriate treatment can be determined.

Alternatively, painless fistulas may appear around the tooth where the apicoectomy was performed. These are small, raised pimples that often regress relatively quickly. However they may reappear, which is a sign that an infection is present. In these cases, a dental professional will drain the fistula to prevent the spread of infection.

Further Information about an Apicectomy