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Dentistry/Apicoectomy

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Question
I'm 67 and in excellent health. I do have dental problems from time to time. A couple of weeks following a root canal on upper front tooth #4 I started having some unusual feelings in my gums...not exactly pain. I was sent back to the oral surgeon who performed the root canal and he performed an apicoectomy. I had the usual swelling, etc. and he did indicate it might be some time before the numbness goes away. It's now been 8 weeks and I still have numbness, not exactly pain, but discomfort in my upper lip and left sinus. He said this is normal and to give it more time. Wonder what you thought because this is really annoying. Thanks

Answer
Hi Don,

I'm sorry to hear you have this going on. It's hard for me to give you really good advice without being able to exam you and know exactly what was done. When an apicoectomy is done, as the incision is made and bone & tissue is removed, some nerve fibers are certainly affected...sometimes more than others. All patients heal at different rates as well. I would say that at this point, the real question  is "are things getting better. worse or staying the same". If things seem to be getting better, even if slowly, then giving it more time is the correct advice. However, if you are getting worse or no obvious improvement, then you should get a recheck from your dentist. Apicoectomies have a lower success rate than most other root canal procedures, so there certainly could be something not healing properly. The bad news is that an apicoectomy is also the last resort prior to tooth extraction. If things don't heal, you could be looking at having the tooth removed.

I hope this helps some anyway.

Gary Backlund DMD, MSD

Dentistry

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Gary Backlund, DMD, MSD

Expertise

I am an Endodontist ( root canal specialist ) and can answer questions about root canals and their treatment. I cannot diagnose or treat online, but can answer general questions. I have been a specialist for 25 years and am Past President of the Washington State Association of Endodontists.

Experience

25 years practicing as a specialist

Organizations
American Association of Endodonists, Past President Washington State Association of Endodontists.

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