View Full Version : Apicoectomy Side Effects

05-24-2003, 11:17 PM
Help! I had an apicoectomy done on tooth #8 five days ago and I have a uncomfortable heavy feeling, like a cotton ball is stuck at the top of my gum near my nose, and was wondering if this feeling is normal after this type of surgery. I asked the endodontis and she said that I just needed to be patient. I am also concerned about the success rate of this type of surgery. Is an implant in my future?

05-25-2003, 12:57 AM

From what I hear you should have discomfort for 3-4 days after the procedure. Did you get any pain meds? They should have given you something.. It seems unusual that after 5 days you still have discomfort. I would hard press the issue. It seems like something is wrong, but I am no expert..

I hate when this type of stuff happens on a long holiday weekend.

I have not gone through that, but have about 3 teeth bothering me and throbbing, with no appt. till Wed.

I am taking Vicodin and it's not helping very much.. I hate tooth pain, there is nothing worse.. If it's get bad I will just have to go to the ER for antibiotics and more pain meds to help till Wed.

I hope someone can come along and help you further, I will keep happy thoughts for you through the weekend, please let us know how it goes.. Your not alone..


05-25-2003, 05:29 AM

I had an apicoectomy on tooth #7 about 25 years ago. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable until the stitches were removed. I think I had the stitches for about a week. I was just a kid then, so I probably recovered a little faster than I would now.

I don't know what the overall success rate is for this type of surgery, but I can tell you that in 25 years, I haven't had any problems.

I hope you feel better soon.

05-25-2003, 05:00 PM
I am still feeling some numbness but it's a little better today. I have always had a difficult time with novacaine. It always seems to stay in my system longer then it's supposed to. I am just scared because the waiver that the endodontis made me sign said that the altered feeling in my gums, cheek or teeth could be permanent. What the waiver said is probably scaring me more at this point then anything else. It was nice to here from Michelle99 that her Apicoectomy has lasted 25 years. Thanks for the comforting info.

06-12-2003, 03:29 PM
Thanks Randi for your concern. It's been just over three weeks and I still have bumps near the injection site. Now I have a tinglying feeling in my cheeks near my jaw. I saw the endodontis a couple of days ago and she said I should rinse with saltwater, apply warm compresses and massage the gums. I have tried doing this but it doesn't seem any better. I am so scared that these conditions will never go away. I just called my regular dentist to see what he says and I have to call him back in a little while. Maybe I am just being impatient. I can live with these symptoms if I know they will eventually go away. Has anyone out there had this happen to them. Should I try taking some more anti-biotics?

06-13-2003, 10:21 PM
Hello dlec64,

I'm curious, do you know if the endo placed mercury amalgam at the apex? Or what may be left of it. They must plug the pulp chamber with something.

I hope you're feeling better.


[This message has been edited by tenntod (edited 06-14-2003).]

06-13-2003, 11:58 PM
Hi. I am sorry to hear about your problems after your surgery. I have been looking to find help with a similar problem - numbness and tingly pain in my jaw after a root canal. It sounds like you may have had some nerve damage, and the recovery will take some time. I don't want to scare you, but for what I have, they say that 85% recover completely, and 15% have some permanent problems.

Best of luck to you!

[Edited to remove website.]

[This message has been edited by Well-come (edited 06-14-2003).]

06-16-2003, 07:26 AM
Hi Everyone:
Just an update: I saw my regular dentist a couple of days ago who said that the pressure that I am feeling around the tops of my gum, under my nose, could be the healing process of the bone filling in. I am not very good at technical terms. Anyway, he also said that a ledge could form in that site and may or may not go away. I asked him if I could get the ledge removed and he said that I'd have to have a similar procedure to remove the scar tissue and that no one he's ever known has done that. He said that healing of the bone could take up to four months. I don't know if the apex of my root was filled with amalgam. I have read some articles on allergies to amalgam. I will ask the endodontis when I see her next week. I am allergic to a couple of things that I know of such as dogs, cats, pork, beef, ragweed and mold. Could this be a reaction to amalgam or novacaine? I asked the endo if I could have nerve damage and she said that where she gave me the shot (tooth no. 8) there aren't any nerves. Aren't there nerves in our skin? My dentist says that it doesn't look like there's an infection. I don't think it'll ever be right. I will go the university if I don't get any results after my appointment next week.
Thanks everyone,

06-16-2003, 05:21 PM
Hi Donna,

I'm sorry you're still not feeling better. As I remember, I felt a little puffy in the incision area for several weeks, but I don't remember any tingling. If a dentist ever told me I couldn't have nerve damage because there are no nerves there, I would probably say something sarcastic like "Well then why did you put anesthetic there?" :D

I hope you are able to find out what your trouble is soon.

Best wishes.


06-17-2003, 10:32 PM
When he/she says there is no nerve there the nerve for number 8 is actually in the bone and when they give the injection they inject the anesthetic right by the bone and let the anesthetic diffuse through the bone to the nerve. If they actually did hit the nerve on that tooth that would be some feat. When you hear of people going numb from injections, they are usually lower teeth which you do inject right next to the nerve.

07-22-2003, 03:49 PM
I'm having #8 done soon. Now I am getting nervous.

In my case, they will make a larger hole than usual because the tip is already broken. So they will remove the tip (1/3 of root).

They are doing everything great. I have mouthwash and antibiotics to start before the surgery.

They will do a bone graft and calcium sulfate to fill the hole, and they will fill the root canal with MTA.

Nerve damage really scares me more than anything, but I guess I am also concerned about rejection (of the bone graft). Then will be the long healing process.

Ahh, I feel better airing this out...well, almost.

07-25-2003, 06:32 PM
Had my apico yesterday. After the IV was started, I didn't know a thing until they woke me up. Had bone graft...just hope it works. Don't need the pain pills, so it's not so bad. The worst part is what the antibiotics do to the old tummy.

07-26-2003, 05:46 PM
It's been just over two months since my apico and everthing is pretty much better except the area (above my tooth were the stitches were) sometimes feels a little puffy (usually after I eat). The gum area is still a little lighter in color in comparison to the rest of my gums. I was never in very much pain; it just felt very strange after the surgery. I had numbness and and tingling in my cheek, my lips wouldn't shut correctly over the puffiness of my gums, etc. I hope that everthing goes better for you Avakay1. The endo said that she didn't forsee it abcessing again. But again, I'm sure the dentist didn't see any reason why the original root canal wouldn't work.

07-28-2003, 08:16 AM
I had my apico a few days ago. It hurt alot, but they had to remove more bone to get a broken root tip out. I still have swelling above the incision and it feels like a chili pepper under my lip. I also had the bone graft. Now there is yellowish white material around the incision and stitches. I hope thats not an infection, but I'll call the dentist to be sure.

07-28-2003, 09:57 AM
What antibiotics are you taking? I had my apico done last Thursday 7/24 and it is still swollen a little. It has bled some more; can't brush, floss or anything on that side. I refuse to even try to look at it. The salt water rinse is sootheing. I figure the surgeon will tell me what's going on when I go this Thurs. to have the stitches removed. I had the bone graft, too. I just hope it doesn't hurt to get the stitches out. Now that's a nice thought, isn't it? haha

07-28-2003, 10:06 AM
I'm taking clindamycin 150mg 4x/day. I am swollen too, but under the gum it feels like stuff can move around. I think it is the calcium sulfate that was also packed with the bone graft. Hey, we had the apico on the same day, 7/24. I get my stitches out Thursday too. I had the front tooth done.

07-28-2003, 10:48 AM
I think I had #14 done...top left, next to the back tooth. People say this is not much different than a root canal, but this seems to have a longer lasting effect. I am taking plain penicillin pills 500 mg three times a day. I am hoping they will knock out any infection. Just feels like that area is so, so fragile. Helps to know that someone else is going thru the same thing.

[This message has been edited by avakay1 (edited 07-28-2003).]

07-28-2003, 12:14 PM
Well, I called the Dr. about the white stuff. He said that was probably normal and just dead tissue cells.

I'd trade a root canal any day. I started this with a root canal. While the tooth was very sensitive after drilling, it pretty much back to normal after a couple of days.

With the apico, I have the same phantom tooth pains as I did after the root canal. They are persisting and the gum is also tender and sore. Actually, the adjacent teeth are sore also. Fragile seems like an understatement. My tooth is just flopping in the wind now. A good sneeze might just blow it out, ha. Of course I only have about 1/2 of the root left. I am really really looking forward to the passage of time. A good 2 months from now and it should be feeling good.

07-28-2003, 01:47 PM
You made me laugh with the idea of our teeth flopping in the wind. That hurt! haha
I've had about 8 root canals/crowns. By the next day, I have always been OK. Not this. I'm just glad I didn't have to go right back to work. I just felt whipped from the anesthetic, I guess.
Glad to hear the white stuff was nothing. I am still waiting for somebody else to tell us if it hurts to have the stitches out. Probably better to find out on Thursday.

07-28-2003, 06:36 PM
Removing the stitches will probably hurt less than that laugh. I've had a lot of stitches and they have never hurt comming out. Its been more like an itch.

I was never presented with more that just novicane for the procedure. I only had 2 sharp jolts of pain. I was kind of glad to be awake. If my mouth wasn't full of gauze, I would have asked to see each major step.

indy gal
07-28-2003, 07:00 PM
Hey guys... well my apico was July 3rd, and after 2 full weeks of feeling better, today I ended up going back to the endodontist unexpectedly. The pressure started back in that tooth again out of nowhere. He put me back on antibiotics (Keflex) to see if that helps. The gums look good according to the dr., but they bleed a little when he probed at them and ran the floss between them.

Of course, he flossed a lot rougher than I have been doing. He said I could have a slight infections of the gums... so I am on the antiobiotics again to see if that helps.

I never had a bone graft done. He left the space empty, saying that a blood clot is the best method for healing and bone re-growth. But now today he said that sometimes bacteria can accumlate around the blood clot, so who knows? I guess I have to wait it out. What do you know about the bone graft? Did they explain anything about that to either of you?

You guys asked about the stitch removal. I had 4 stitches, 3 came out painless and one of them was bothersome to remove. They lubed them first so they come out easier. One thing I did notice was that the first 3 days after having the stiches out my teeth felt weird, but that got better on day 4. (And I was doing great till today... lets just hope its some minor inflamation that the antibiotics will cure!)

indy gal
07-28-2003, 07:06 PM
And I didn't need novacaine for the stitch removal either. Heck, after the month of pain I went thru with the abscess, 2 minutes of discomfort was nothing.

What a laugh I got out of the "sneezing your tooth out" comment :-D

07-28-2003, 07:51 PM
Hope your tooth calms down and the pressure stops.
All I was told about the bone graft was that the abscess had eaten away quite alot of bone and it would require a graft. After the procedure, the doctor said it took a larger graft than expected, but all went well. I hope. I'll try to ask more about it on Thursday.

07-29-2003, 10:17 AM
About the bone graft, I did a lot of research on my own. I read several studies and determined that a bone would be neccessary.

The general theory revolves around guided tissue regeneration (GTR). It is expected that the bone void will be overcome with soft tissue growth (since soft tissue grows much faster). Eventually, bone may displace the soft tissue, but some believe that scar tissue will always remain and complete bone re-growth will not occure. Some of the earlier studies actually used teflon and goretex to fill the hole in the bone, and successive surgeries were needed to replace the materials with smaller ones as the bone grew (and finally to remove them).

They also did studies with calcium sulfate. They found calcium sulfate worked good too, and would be absorbed by the body and gradually replaced with bone. But the resorbtion was too quick (about 5 weeks). Nonetheless, results were much improved over no GTR, about 1/2 the recovery period to full bone regerneration and a significant increase in success.

Lastly, they have started using bone grafts (and calcium sulfate). There are minimal risks with the bone graft, one being disease transmission, the other being rejection. I think there are about 8 documented cases of disease transmission in the near 1.5 million grafts. Thats where the specific disease could be tracked back to the donor. I think that was a few year old statistic, however.

Also, not all specialists believe that grafts are necessary. They may not be neccessary in all cases (depends on the size of the void). I think that most apicos do not need a bone graft, unless there is significant infection and bone resorbtion before the procedure. But I think that it could only help. Usually it costs more too.

07-29-2003, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the bone graft info. It is a scary thought that a graft may have to be removed, replaced, etc.
I finally looked at my stitches today with a little dental mirror(5th day since apico). I have stitches on both sides of 3 top back teeth.
Guess he did his best to get all the infection out.
Cost $2,081. not including lab fees. Hope, hope, hope this works.

07-29-2003, 01:16 PM
Do any of you know what they filled your tooth with? Did they need to re-fill the tooth? I was in the process of a root canal, but they never finished it due to the downturn.

I was told that the tooth would be filled with MTA, but just before starting the work and going through the rundown, I was told it would be filled with gutta percha and MTA at the root "tip."

It ended up with just gutta percha. I heard the Dr. say that the seal was good and he did not want to shorten the root any further by drilling the canal for the MTA.

I was just concerned about the gutta percha being exposed at the end. MTA is very hard and promotes bone growth, but since its so hard, they would not be able to re-drill the tooth if completely filled.

NnO-E was also mentioned, but I read that fungal growth can occur.

I have 5 stitches over 4 teeth. It still burns around that area, but the swelling is just starting to go down. I feel a little better today. I can just start to crack a smile, but I'm not showing any teeth yet.

indy gal
08-04-2003, 04:49 PM
Avakay and Cuc2u:

How did it go having the stiches removed? Are you healing pretty well, or are there any problems (hopefully the answer is no since you haven't posted here again!). Just wanted to check on both of you.

08-04-2003, 07:07 PM
Thanks for your concern!

Having the stitches out didn't hurt at all. I was so happy! Doc said wait for 3 days before flossing in the area and to brush very gently there. Wait a week before any heavy chewing. Return in 3 months to see if the bone is filling in.
To anybody about to undergo this procedure, it is more involved than a root canal. The doc will say you can return to work in a day or two, but I felt under the weather for 3 days. Not bad and not in pain, just not good enough to be working.
I didn't have any pain before the apico, but feel great knowing the infection is OUT and the biopsy came back fine. With luck, I won't think of it again until the 3 month appointment!

[This message has been edited by avakay1 (edited 08-04-2003).]

08-05-2003, 10:26 PM
I've been doing OK. I still have some swelling over the tooth. Its like a bubble. The tooth is still very loose and I cannot chew at all with it. Sometimes I have phantom pains, but not severe. I feel a lot of itchyness and sometimes I feel like it going bad. Brings back memories of my baby teeth comming out. Other times it feels like its improving. I guess, day-by-day, it is making progress. Its hard to tell at this point.

Well, I knew going in that it was a long shot, because the root was already broken. I just need to be patient and continue to believe.

I go back in 3 weeks for a checkup. If the swelling does not subside by then, I don't know? Maybe it will be time to pull.

At least the gum healed nice enough, but the center tendon from the gum to lip got cut and does not seem to be healing together.

I'll definately post another update, just might be a while.

08-06-2003, 08:52 AM
I have had a bad tooth ache for about 3-4 days now, checking websites for symtoms i am self diagnosing myself as having an Abcessed tooth.
I will make a point of seeing the dentist in a day or so...
but my question is are Apicoectomies usualy done after abcess root canals?
i've had 1 root canal in the past, w/out abcess. If I hit this eary enough can i avoid Apicoectomy? cause im a little freaked about the thought of it.

08-06-2003, 04:08 PM
hehe, never mind... saw the dentist.
The tooth was indeed absesed, but the root had already died. went and had a hole drilled to let the pus out, precribed some penecilin, all's ok.