Modern dentistry has sought to treat the teeth and keep them on the arch to the last. Tooth extraction is an extreme measure. In order to save teeth in situations where conservative therapy is powerless, certain specific interventions come to the rescue. One of these tooth preservation interventions is apical resection.
Apical resection is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of outbreaks of infection from or near the root of the tooth. It is recommended when endodontic treatment or retreatment is unsuccessful or cannot be performed.
In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on canines and incisors, and much less often on teeth with multiple roots. In dentistry, the operation is called apicoectomy, which literally means removing the root tip.
How Much Does an Apicoectomy Cost?
The apicoectomy cost is influenced by a series of factors such as the local rates, the type and position of the tooth, and the training and qualifications of the endodontist or oral surgeon who performs the procedure. For instance, a specialist with more status, expertise, and training will charge more than an individual specialist who just started his career.
However, in case you don’t have dental insurance, you should expect to pay for an apicoectomy anywhere between $920 and $1,350, or in some cases even more. On the other hand, if you have dental insurance coverage you will have to pay anywhere between $110 and $550, depending on the policy terms.
Apicoectomy is performed quickly, but the overall complexity depends on the location of the affected tooth. It is easiest in the case of canines and incisors, and the difficulty increases with the number of roots of the tooth. The operation is simple and is performed under local anesthesia.
The doctor starts with an anesthetic. Then they will remove a piece of the gum to reveal the bone. Once identified, the inflamed tissue will be removed. Sometimes a biopsy is needed to accurately determine the nature of the removed tissue. This procedure also involves removing the root apex (the portion at the end of the root), and the resulting abutment will be obturated.
The gum is then repositioned and sutured (sewn). Your doctor will prescribe a treatment to follow at home, and after a week the threads can be removed. The postoperative indications are quite similar to the recommendations made for more difficult extractions: your doctor will inform you in detail.
The apical resection does not last more than an hour, and the recovery period is about 5-7 days. The soft tissues are restored in the first week, but the bone heals for several months. On the first day after surgery, the patient may be bothered by moderate swelling and pain. They should gradually decrease and disappear in the first week after surgery.
Finally, a visit is made a few months later (6-12) to check if the bone has recovered properly.
What are the extra costs?
Prior to the procedure the dentist will take x-rays of the affected area and prescribe you antibiotics. Also, after the apicoectomy, you will have to take other x-rays and be evaluated by the dentist to see if the procedure was successful. In case the cost of these dental x-rays is not included in the price of the apicoectomy you will have to pay anywhere between $15 and $260.
Important things to consider
To avoid pain, complications, or other discomforts after the apicoectomy, it is advisable to quit smoking for at least two days. If you feel that you are experiencing inflammation in the affected area, place an ice cube in the problematic area. Also, to speed up healing, it is advisable to avoid hard and crunchy foods.
In case you have dental insurance ask your insurance company for a list of the approved oral surgeons, endodontists, and dentists.
When looking for a specialist in apicoectomy search on the website of the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Endodontists. To make your choice easier ask how many apicoectomies they have performed and how often.
How can I save money?
You might be able to save money on your apicoectomy if you choose to go to a dental college clinic where the procedure is performed by a supervised, postgraduate student. According to some patients, the cost charged for an apicoectomy at such a clinic is anywhere between $620 and $680. You can find a list of dental schools from the United States on the website of The American Dental Association.
Also, on the same website, you can find a list of dental organizations that pay partial fees for patients with a low income.