Periapical radiolucency is characterized by chronic or acute inflammatory lesions or lacerations around the apex of your tooth’s root. It is usually triggered by bacterial invasion of the dental pulp and its presence is often an indication of poor oral health status.
Also known as periradicular periodontitis or apical periodontitis, periapical radiolucency may not be easily detected by X-rays and could persist even after many treatments.
Causes Of Periapical Radiolucency
Clinical symptoms of periapical radiolucency include tenderness, pain, and swelling in varying degrees. It is imperative, however, that proper vitality tests are carried out to map out the patient’s symptoms if an appropriate diagnosis is to be made.
A periapical abscess will develop when a patient’s inflammatory cells begin to accumulate at the top of your tooth’s root. In many cases, the trigger to the infection is easy to identify as it often the outcome of a carious lesion or due to a previous tooth injury and subsequent pulpal tissue damage.
Diagnosis Of Periapical Radiolucency
The earliest indication of an emerging carious lesion is marked by the appearance of a white, chalky spot on the tooth surface. This is an indication of enamel demineralization. There might be tissue destruction depending on how far the lesion has progressed.
When an oral health professional is confronted with a case of apical radiolucent lesion, there is need to follow the laid down diagnostic technique before initiating therapy. This approach entails radiographic data to compile a diagnostic data base. When these are combined with the outcomes of the vitality tests, they provide the dental health expert with a suitable working diagnosis.
Management Of Periapical Radiolucency
The first option when it comes to dealing with this dental condition is through pulp therapy. If this is found to be insufficient, endodontic surgery is recommended to eliminate the disease. This is because surgery offers the dental surgeon immediate access to your root apex.
Apical surgery is usually not recommended in cases where canal obstructions hinder retreatment (rechecking) or when it would not be prudent to carry out surgery. The surgical goal is to not only clean but seal up the root canal.
The significance of a good diagnostic data base in cases of periapical radiolucency is seen in its role in determining the treatment method and outcome. If your dentist encounters vital tissues in a non-vital tooth, they are to reassess the diagnosis and reconsider the treatment approach. In such cases, seeking the opinion of a dental specialist may be considered.