How is acute apical periodontitis treated with root canal?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to treating acute apical periodontitis with a root canal, there are a few steps involved in the process. I’ll take you through the treatment procedure step by step.

1. Diagnosis: Before starting any treatment, your dentist will first diagnose your condition by examining your tooth and taking X-rays. This is important to confirm the presence of acute apical periodontitis and determine the extent of the infection.

2. Local anesthesia: To ensure your comfort during the procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth. This helps to minimize any pain or discomfort you might experience during the treatment.

3. Accessing the tooth: Once you are numb, your dentist will create an opening in the tooth to access the pulp chamber. This is usually done by drilling a small hole in the tooth, allowing access to the infected pulp.

4. Cleaning and disinfecting: The next step involves removing the infected pulp tissue from the root canals. Your dentist will use specialized instruments, such as files, to carefully clean and shape the canals. This process helps to eliminate bacteria and any debris that may be present. Irrigation with antimicrobial solutions is also utilized to disinfect the canals thoroughly.

5. Filling the root canals: After the canals are cleaned and disinfected, they are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha. This material seals the canals, preventing any further infection from entering.

6. Temporary or permanent restoration: Depending on the condition of your tooth, your dentist may place a temporary filling or a permanent restoration (such as a dental crown) to protect the tooth and restore its function. This step is crucial in ensuring the longevity and strength of the treated tooth.

7. Follow-up: After the root canal treatment, your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your healing progress. They may also recommend periodic X-rays to assess the success of the treatment and make sure there are no signs of reinfection.

It’s important to note that root canal treatment is highly effective in treating acute apical periodontitis. However, the success of the treatment depends on various factors, including the severity of the infection and the overall oral hygiene of the patient.

In some cases, additional treatments might be necessary if the infection persists or if there are complications. This could include an apicoectomy, which involves removing the infected tissue and the apex of the tooth root surgically. However, root canal treatment is often the first line of treatment for acute apical periodontitis, and it has a high success rate in saving the tooth and alleviating the infection.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with a qualified dentist or endodontist to determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. They will be able to assess your situation and provide you with personalized care to ensure the best possible outcome.