Our Endodontic Services

Apexification

What Is Apexification?

Apexification is an endodontic treatment that’s administered alongside root canal therapy to save a tooth that’s been damaged by a traumatic dental injury. It’s usually only required for children who have damaged one of their permanent teeth before it has fully formed. 

In this process, unhealthy pulp is removed from the tip of the tooth, then special medication is used to treat it and encourage hard tissue to form near the root tip. This closes the tooth and allows it to be treated with a traditional root canal.

Why Is Apexification Necessary?

To understand why apexification is necessary, it’s important to know a bit about the anatomy of a tooth. A normal tooth has a cone-shaped root. This root widens at the crown, then narrows to a closed root “tip.”
However, permanent adult teeth that are not developed don’t always have a closed root tip. This is called an “open apex.” These teeth need to continue to grow and develop to gain strength. Normally, this isn’t an issue. As the mouth grows and develops, the tip of the tooth will close.

However, if an immature permanent tooth is damaged by a traumatic dental injury, the open apex may never close. This will cause problems during root canal therapy. A closed root canal is necessary so that the tooth can be cleaned, filled, and restored properly.

This is why apexification must be integrated into the treatment process. By creating a calcified barrier and closing the open apex, apexification “closes” the tooth root and allows the tooth to be treated with a root canal.

The Apexification Treatment Process: What To Expect

  • Initial Treatment – Initially, the treatment process is similar to a root canal. The tooth is cleaned and numbed, then opened up. Special tools are used to clean out damaged pulp and tooth material. Then, the area will be flushed and irrigated to sanitize the tooth. Finally, calcium hydroxide or another special material will be packed into the end of the tooth, and the tooth will be filled and sealed.
  • Follow Ups – Your dentist at ONE ENDO may need to see you for a few checkups over the next 6 months as the tooth heals and calcifies to ensure the open apex is calcifying and closing properly.
  • Root Canal Treatment – Once the apexification process is complete, you’ll come back to ONE ENDO to get a root canal. This completes the procedure, and ensures your tooth will stay intact for years to come.

What kind of aftercare is required?

Similarly to root canal therapy, no special treatment is required to take care of the tooth after the apexification procedure. To avoid biting your cheeks and lips, you may want to avoid eating or chewing for a few hours until your numbing wears off. 

Other than that, just make sure to brush and floss normally, and make sure to come back to ONE ENDO as scheduled for follow-ups to make sure that the apexification process is proceeding normally.

Judgment-Free Care, Always.

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