What is an Apicoectomy?
An apicoectomy is an endodontic surgery. It is the most common type of endodontic surgery, and it is performed to save damaged teeth that a root canal did not successfully treat. Known interchangeably as root-end surgery, root-tip surgery, retrograde filling, or root-end resection, an apicoectomy is a minimally invasive surgery.
An apicoectomy may be used in a diagnostic capacity, or to treat inflammation or infection at the very tip of the tooth root located in the bony area, or both. As a diagnostic procedure, endodontists expose the tooth root to locate any tiny fractures, or tiny canals of the root that cannot be seen on an x-rays. The source of your pain is often discovered and treated in the same procedure.
During root-end surgery, a small incision will be made in the gum to allow the endodontist to access the tip of the root. Depending on the source of the pain, the dentist may perform one of several treatments.
Canals that were too small to be treated during a root canal can be cleaned, disinfected, and sealed. Canals that could not be seen during a root canal may be cleaned and reshaped. Any debris or infection in the tissue surrounding the tooth root will also be removed and treated. In many cases, a tiny filling will be placed at the tip of the root to seal the root, preventing future infection.
What are the Benefits of an Apicoectomy?
Endodontic surgery offers patients several benefits:
- Saves natural tooth (tooth preservation)
- Removal of dead or infected tissues
- Preventing infection from spreading
- Reducing the likelihood of recurring infections
- Eliminating pain
- Fast recovery from minimally invasive surgery
Are You a Good Candidate for an Apicoectomy?
Patients best suited for an apicoectomy at Endodontics & Implantology Associates in San Jose are those who have undergone a root canal but have not gotten relief from pain. In these cases, an apicoectomy can be performed to both diagnose the source of the pain and treat the pain. An apicoectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that provides an effective alternative to tooth extraction. Patients in good overall health are typically good candidates for an apicoectomy.