If one or more of your permanent teeth have incompletely formed roots and you need a root canal, you might benefit from apexification. The team at Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA, in Statesville and Hickory, North Carolina, regularly perform this procedure on adolescents and young adults to preserve their teeth and prevent extractions. To learn more about this type of endodontic treatment, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Apexification is an endodontic procedure used to seal the apex, or the base at the root, of a tooth. When your permanent teeth erupt through your gum line, it typically takes three years for each tooth’s apex to close. Although an open apex is a normal part of getting permanent teeth, it presents an opportunity for harmful bacteria to enter your pulp, infecting your nerves and other sensitive structures in your teeth.
During apexification, Dr. Nance cleans out the interior of your affected tooth and uses a chemical solution to seal your root canal. Two of the most common chemicals used in apexification are trioxide aggregate and calcium hydroxide.
Sometimes an infection or cavity develops in a tooth that’s recently broken through the gumline. If this occurs, a root canal may be necessary. But Dr. Nance is unable to perform root canal therapy unless your affected tooth’s apex is closed.
Following an oral exam, Dr. Nance orders a series of digital X-rays to get a better look at your affected tooth. If your tooth’s apex is still open, he needs to perform an apexification before he can move forward.
Apexification is very similar to a traditional root canal. First, Dr. Nance administers a local anesthetic to numb your teeth and gums. Next, he places a rubber dam over your affected tooth to keep it dry of saliva.
Finally, Dr. Nance drills an access hole in your affected tooth, cleans out the pulp and debris, and uses a chemical solution to seal the end of your root canal. Once the solution dries, it forms a hard layer known as a calcific barrier.
After the apexification procedure, Dr. Nance sends you home with a list of careful recovery instructions. Over the course of the next six months, you return to the office every few weeks for regular X-rays and exams.
At each appointment, Dr. Nance tests your tooth to make sure it’s capable of feeling sensations like pressure and temperature. Once your root apex fully seals, Dr. Nance performs a root canal and seals your tooth using a permanent restoration such as a filling or crown.
To see if you’re a candidate for apexification, make an appointment at Robert Scott Nance, DDS, MS, PA. Call the office or click the online booking tool today.