Do You Need an Apicoectomy?

Although most root canal procedures are done non-surgically, sometimes situations require root canal surgery to get you healthy and comfortable again. This type of surgery is called endodontic microsurgery.


Traditional root canals are the most common treatment for most cases. But sometimes teeth may need to be treated surgically following a root canal. That surgery, called an apicoectomy, is done on a tooth when their original root canal was unsuccessful. An apicoectomy is a procedure with over a 90% success rate.


While an unsuccessful root canal can often be re-treated non-surgically, it may require an apicoectomy if the infection at the base of the root could not be resolved or if the bone at the base of the root of the tooth has been affected by the original infection. 


Your dentist may refer you to an Endodontist for evaluation for an apicoectomy if you have the following symptoms:

  • Pain that persists after a root canal

  • Reinfection after a root canal

  • Damage to the root or surrounding bone

endo lobby

A consultation with an Endodontist will include an examination of the affected tooth that includes imaging x-rays, which can detect fractures or damage to the root or bone. After your exam, you will know if you are a good candidate for the apicoectomy. 


During the apicoectomy procedure, your endodontist will use local anesthesia to make sure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, they will enter the area through the gum tissue close and remove the tip of the root.  After removal of the tip and any infected tissue, the canal is sealed, which will promote healing of the surrounding gum and bone.


Typically, the mouth heals rather quickly after the apicoectomy procedure with minimal discomfort. But it is always important to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.