Apicoectomy: Purpose and Procedure


patient-200x300If you’ve been told that you need an apicoectomy, you may wonder what that is and what you should expect. An apicoectomy, which may also be called root-end surgery, is a dental procedure in which an oral surgeon removes the tip of a root of the targeted tooth, as well as any diseased or damaged tissue in the vicinity.

Apicoectomy may be indicated when a root canal has not been successful in eliminating infection in the root tip and a second root canal has also failed or the treatment cannot be repeated for some reason. It can help save affected teeth from extraction in such cases.

At the conclusion of an apicoectomy, the oral surgeon will place a filling in the empty space previously occupied by the root tip. This helps to reduce the risk of a recurrence of infection in the root.

Your oral surgeon will use local anesthetic during the procedure, and patients may also choose some form of sedation for additional comfort. Your surgeon can discuss your various sedation options with you so that you can make the best choice for you.

Most patients will be able to resume normal activities within a day or two of having an apicoectomy. You will get instructions to prevent post-operative complications, like infection, which can derail the healing process. You may be prescribed a preventive antibiotic as another precaution against infection. If so, you should complete the entire course of the antibiotic as prescribed.

Patients may experience some mild discomfort after an apicoectomy, but this can typically be managed with painkillers that can be prescribed for you. If you have severe, persistent pain or other problems like unexpected breathing or fever, call our office as soon as possible to be evaluated for complications.

If you are in need of an apicoectomy to save your tooth after an unsuccessful root canal, call our office at Austin Oral Surgery to learn more about this procedure and schedule an initial appointment to discuss it with a surgeon.