What is an Apicoectomy?

February 3, 2022

Little Rock Endodontist – Tips and Education

Surgery can be an alarming word. So if your dentist has recommended endodontic surgery, you probably have a few questions.

An apicoectomy is also known as a root-end resection. It’s a little more advanced than a root canal because to perform the procedure an endodontist must remove the infected tissue by going through the gums and into the jaw bone.

Even though “surgery” sounds intimidating, it’s actually a very small procedure. In fact, it’s considered endodontic microsurgery and is one of the most commonly performed in the dentistry field. Your gums will need sutures, but the healing process is easy to manage.

What is an apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy allows your endodontist to remove an infection from the root of your tooth where a root canal procedure won’t reach.

Your endodontist will go into your gums to reach your jawbone where the infected tooth is sitting. Next, they will use advanced microsurgery technology to remove all the infected tissue sitting at the root of your tooth. To ensure your tooth will return to its healthy, natural state, the end of the root is removed, cleaned, and replaced with a root-end filling. This filling will prevent the tooth from having further issues, like infection, and allow it to continue functioning as a healthy tooth.

After the procedure, the bone surrounding your tooth has a chance to grow back healthy and free of infection.

When is an Apicoectomy needed?

When there is infected tissue at the root of your tooth. This is caused by a number of issues. Here are some of the more common ones:

When a root canal wasn’t enough to solve the problem.

Patients undergoing an Apicoectomy have already had a root canal on the same tooth. A root canal is usually enough to remove the infected tissue and allow the tooth to heal. Patients who are still experiencing pain or other issues after a root canal heals might require an apicoectomy to fully cure the tooth.

When you have an unexplained toothache

​Anyone working in the field of dentistry knows how debilitating a toothache can be. Modern dentistry is making it easier for dentists and endodontists to diagnose toothaches. Even with advanced x-rays, an infection at the root of your tooth can be difficult to detect. An apicoectomy is performed to help a tooth when a root canal was not enough to stop the pain.

When a root canal can’t be fully performed

Sometimes a tooth has too much calcium in its roots. This makes the area too small for dentists to properly remove the infected tissue. An apicoectomy allows an endodontist to cure your tooth from the root end by removing the infected tissue and closing off the canal to prevent further issues.