An apex is an opening to a tooth’s root. Apexification is the procedure that dentists use to close it up and prevent infection to the inner pulp of the tooth. An apex may be caused by resorption, an erosion of the root ends, or trauma to the tooth. Apexification is done when a root canal is no longer feasible.
If your tooth’s root has been exposed you will notice an increase in sensitivity, your tooth may feel loose or you may see some discoloration and experience sudden or recurring pain.
If your dentist suspects an apex he will do an exam to confirm it and then refer you to an endodontist who specializes in performing the procedure.
The endodontist will numb the gum area around the tooth in preparation for the treatment, and sedate you if necessary. He will drill into the tooth and remove the infected pulp, then he will measure and thoroughly clean the root canals. He will medicate the canals and seal off the tooth until your next appointment when another dose of medication will be applied. The number of medications will differ in every case.
When the root has formed the treatment will have been successful and your symptoms will subside. The tooth will then be ready for a permanent crown.