Dental Education Lecture: Slow Recovery from Apical Surgery
Dear Xiao Pan:
I am so sorry to learn that you are worrying about numbness so much. It must be very uncomfortable. But this is NOT a big issue. The nerves I damaged during surgery are not important, especially from cheek side. Bone will heal if I remove all of the bad stuffs, which I think I have accomplished.
Retrospectively, most of my patient having your type of surgery (apicoectomy) do have very slow recovery. It makes me feel very bad. But it also makes me appreciate that my patients bear pain and discomfort for me. It makes me keep learning and writing dental articles. Every single word in my every article contains my desire to alleviate pain for my patients and those patients I do not have opportunities to treat. But all of them recover in the end.
Last July I did apiceotomy for a 57 year old lady. First I redid a filling for the tooth #3. It did not work. Then root canal was done with crown. The pain returned. Finally apicoectomy was done. A few days after the surgery she returned to my office with swollen and blue face. If I had had been by Yellow River, I would have jumped into it. We also placed an implant for the tooth #30. She disappeared for 8 months. We thought that she must hate us. But her son still returned for cleaning. Finally early this month, she returned for temporary bridge (around #30 implant) cementation. She gladly told every one of us in the office that the pain associated with #3 has never come back again. She is too busy to return for implant further treatment now.
Xiao Pan, compared to the patient I just mentioned, you are much more fortunate. I am sure that you will be alright sooner or later. If I could not comfort you enough, you may need a long nice vacation, trying to forgetting the root tip surgery. Anyway, we do not have to do anything now. Just watch.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 03/08/2011, last revision 03/08/2011