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All About Apicoectomies

By Shakara Robinson on June 12, 2018 in Dental Health


dental procedure apicoectomy

You’ve already had a nonsurgical root canal treatment, but that same tooth is giving you problems again. This time, your dentist suggests a different dental procedure— an apicoectomy.

Here are some answers if an apicoectomy is in your future.

WHAT IS AN APICOECTOMY?

Our teeth are held in place by roots that extend into our jawbone. An apicoectomy is aminor surgical procedure that removes the apex, or very tip, of the tooth’s root.

WHY WOULD I NEED THIS?

An apicoectomy, also known as root end surgery, might be necessary if an infection develops or continues after a root canal. If this is suggested for you, it means your tooth cannot be saved by conventional root canal treatment. Often, the only alternative to an apicoectomy is removing [ML1] the tooth, which could affect adjacent teeth that are healthy. The purpose is to preserve the function of your natural tooth.

WHAT HAPPENS IN AN APICOECTOMY?

First, local anesthesia is used to make you comfortable. During the treatment, an incision is made in the gum near the tooth to expose and get rid of any inflamed or infected tissue. Your endodontist will also remove the tip of the tooth’s root. The end of the root canal is sealed with a small filling. A few stitches are used to close the gum tissue and the bone heals around the end of the root over the next few months. 

WHAT IS RECOVERY LIKE?

Many patients are able to continue to normal activities the next day. You may experience discomfort and swelling as you heal. Make sure to follow postoperative instructions – including diet and brushing advice - given by your endodontist. Call him or her immediately if your pain doesn’t respond to medication or recovery instructions.

WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THIS PROCEDURE?

Coverage depends on your specific plan. Contact Delta Dental if you have questions about your coverage.