Apexification Procedure in Houston, TX
Immature permanent teeth with progressive cavities and infected tooth roots or those that have suffered traumatic injuries may, at times, require a procedure known as apexification to preserve them. At Prime Endodontics, we understand that no restoration compares to healthy, natural teeth. Saving a tooth and restoring its full health and function is always our top priority.
What Is Apexification?
Apexification is a treatment designed to seal off an apex or base of an infected or damaged immature tooth, one with incomplete root formation, or one with roots that have been eroded by a process called resorption. In immature, developing teeth, the apex is open and remains so while the tooth grows. An open apex sometimes allows bacteria to enter and infect the nerve and soft tissue within the tooth’s pulp.
Apexification is performed to close the open apex to allow the tooth to heal. It involves the removal of the diseased pulp and placing medication called MTA, or mineral trioxide aggregate in the root of an immature tooth. The procedure stimulates root development and encourages the formation of a hard tissue barrier near the root tip to close off the apex and prevent further inflammation and infection. It also allows for successful root canal therapy when needed.
When Is an Apexification Procedure Necessary?
Apexification may be necessary if an infection or cavity develops in an immature tooth, or if a tooth with incompletely formed or eroded roots requires root canal therapy. Dr. Shakiba cannot perform a root canal treatment successfully unless the tooth’s apex is closed, which is why she may recommend apexification. When the root barrier forms, root canal therapy can be performed to preserve the affected tooth.
In the event of a traumatic tooth injury, the first course of treatment to save a tooth is called apexogenesis, which involves placing medication to encourage the immature roots to develop and the open apex to close naturally. The procedure helps preserve the vital tooth pulp and allows the tooth to heal. If apexogenesis fails to restore the health of the tooth, Dr. Shakiba will likely recommend apexification.
What Is the Apexification Process?
Dr. Shakiba will perform an oral exam and will capture 3D images of the affected tooth to examine it closely. The apexification procedure is similar to root canal therapy. After administering a local anesthetic to numb the area, Dr. Shakiba will place a rubber dam over the affected tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. She will make a small opening in the tooth and will remove the diseased pulp. She will place medication in the root canal to help a hard tissue barrier form and close off the apex.
A treated tooth is susceptible to fracture and will need protection by a crown or other restoration prepared by your general dentist. You will need to return to our office for follow-up appointments as recommended to allow Dr. Shakiba to monitor the healing process.
Apexification Procedure Near Me
Contact Prime Endodontics in Houston, TX, to learn more about our endodontic treatments to preserve your natural teeth. If Dr. Shakiba recommends an apexification procedure, you can trust her skill and expertise for comfortable care and the best possible treatment outcomes. Call us and schedule your appointment today!