Usually, a dental fistula, otherwise known as an abscess, that is situated near the root of the tooth can be treated with root canal treatment. This means that the dentist cleans around the root of your tooth, making sure that any plaque, decay and infection are removed in the hope that your tooth will return to good health.
This isn’t always a success, and the procedure may be repeated. If this fails, it is probable that your dentist will want to perform an apicoectomy. This procedure is carried out in an attempt to get rid of the infection and let you keep your tooth.
Under anaesthetic, your dentist will cut into the gum, and in the same way that the root canal procedure was carried out, clean away the infection. The dentist will then slice away the end of the tooth’s root so that the entire infection will be removed and the tooth root can be cleaned and sealed.
There is no guarantee of the procedure working, though for many people it is the answer; they are rid of their dental fistula and manage to keep their tooth. If it doesn’t work, however, the only way to make sure that the infection is cleared up totally, will be to extract the tooth.
After having an apicoectomy, there will probably be some bruising and you may feel uncomfortable for a couple of weeks. There could be some swelling too, but over the counter painkillers should be enough to deal with any discomfort, and you can be sure that the pain will be nothing compared to the pain that you will have suffered with your dental fistula.