Many endodontic issues can be effectively treated with a non-surgical root canal procedure. Occasionally, however, root canals are not completely effective in resolving the tissue infection. In cases like these, you may need an endodontic surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. An apicoectomy is the most common form of endodontic surgery, and involves removing a small portion of the tooth’s root (called the apex) and any surrounding infected tissue.

When do You Need an Apicoectomy?

Your endodontist may recommend an apicoectomy for a number of reasons. Your tooth canal may be blocked or otherwise inaccessible, making a traditional root canal ineffective. The treatment may also be recommended if you have certain anatomical irregularities or fractures or cracks along the roots of the affected tooth.

The Apicoectomy Procedure

Prior to your apicoectomy, your endodontist will order certain diagnostic images to determine the severity of your infection and whether or not an apicoectomy might be effective in restoring your tooth. Before your surgery, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to help ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Your endodontist will make a small incision in your gum to expose the infected tissue located at the root of the tooth. Your endodontist will then remove the infected tissue and look for any cracks or fractures.

Once the root is exposed, your endodontist will examine and clean your tooth’s canal. Once clean, he will then fill the canal with an inert material and seal it with a filling. Your apicoectomy takes a mere 30 to 90 minutes to complete – after which you’ll be on your way home!

You’ll be given post-operative instructions following your apicoectomy, which may include taking pain and anti-inflammatory medications and avoiding chewing crunchy or hard foods.

An apicoectomy is an effective treatment that helps to restore – and save – your infected tooth when a common root canal is either impossible or ineffective. Apicoectomies are generally permanent and can save you money – and pain – for years to come.