Occasionally, infection or inflammation will persist or develop after root canal therapy. In some cases, conventional retreatment of the root canal may not be possible due to existing restorations, previous treatment, blocked canals, etc. These cases may require root end surgery known as apicoectomy.
Following an evaluation and radiographs, your endodontist may recommend this type of procedure. An appointment is scheduled for the apicoectomy. On the day of the surgery, we will numb the area thoroughly with local anesthetic. Local anesthetic will make the procedure comfortable. Once the area is numb, an incision will be made in the gum to gain access to the infected root end of the tooth. The infection is removed along with the very tip of the root. A special root end filling is placed in the tooth to seal it. Resorbable sutures are placed.
Following the procedure, an ice pack will be recommended. Medication may be prescribed to alleviate discomfort. Most patients will experience soreness, occasional bruising and some minor swelling following treatment. Patients usually return to their normal activities the next day.
We will schedule a follow up appointment to check healing and to be sure the sutures have completely dissolved a few days to a week after the surgery. We may also schedule an additional follow up appointment to check healing. Complete healing of the bone around the end of the tooth will happen over a period of months.