What is an Apicoectomy?

While rare, complications can arise following root canal therapy that can require an apicoectomy to protect against further damage. This

First things first, let’s learn more about the roots and canals of a tooth: The apex (end of the tooth’s root) is important because it allows nerves and blood vessels to enter the tooth and pass through the canals. When tissue in the pulp of your tooth becomes infected from tooth decay or trauma, a root canal therapy is performed to remove the harmful debris.

If the debris is not fully removed during a root canal therapy, or if decay develops again, it can prevent the tooth from making a full recovery and cause further complications. Therefore an apicoectomy is performed, to remove the infected tissue and apex of the tooth. Once the tooth is completely cleared of infection, a filling is placed to prevent future issues. This dental procedure can take between 30-90 minutes, depending on the severity of the case.

An apicoectomy is usually considered as a last resort. A dentist will review your specific case and decide whether an apicoectomy is needed. In general, a second root canal therapy is performed to remove the infection before an apicoectomy is done. However, in some cases, another root canal therapy could harm the tooth. For instance, if the patient has a dental crown or implant, an apicoectomy is best over a second root canal. This is because it would clear the infection from the tooth’s root and not the crown end.

After Care
For the next couple of hours, it is best to apply ice to your face near the affected area. Please do not brush your teeth immediately after the surgery or eat foods that are hard to chew, such as candy or crackers. Your dentist may advise you to take pain medication as well which can also help reduce inflammation.

Taking care of our patients’ dental health is our number one goal at Premier Dental Associates of Lower Manhattan. Learn more about our microscopic root canal therapy with endodontist Dr. Jessica Kagan by either visiting our website or calling us at 212-587-0202. Keep on smiling!