Apicoectomy or Root-end Resection Procedures

Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend surgery. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.

What is an Apicoectomy?

The video on the right illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling may also be placed to seal the root end in an effort to prevent reinfection of the root.  The incision made into the gum is sutured back into position. The sutures are removed within 1 week of the procedure.  The soft tissue heals within a few weeks of the procedure and the bone naturally heals around the root over a period of 3-12 months restoring full function of the tooth.

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure, it develops within the first 2 post operative days, and completely resolves within 1-2 weeks following the surgical treatment. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. Antibiotics will be prescribed if a post-treatment infection is present at the time of the surgical procedure, or for the unusual case where a fever, tender glands, or other signs of a systemic infection develop after the surgery.  If you have pain or an infection that does not respond to medication, please call our office.