The most common surgical procedure is called an Apicoectomy. An Apicoectomy is needed if all nonsurgical methods have failed and the inflammation or infection continues in the bony area at the end of the tooth. This surgery is performed with a local anesthetic and the doctor will give you specific postoperative instructions.
1) We will open the gum tissue in the area of your tooth to see the underlying bone and remove any inflamed or infected tissue. The tip of the root is also removed.
2) A filling will be placed to seal the end of the root canal and stitches in the gum tissue to help it heal properly. You may feel some discomfort and have slight swelling while incision heals. The stitches will be removed in our office a week from the procedure.
3) In the next several months the bone will begin to heal around the end of the root. In many cases, we will have you back to check progress several months after treatment.
Cost or Additional Care Following Surgery: After surgery most patients are able to return to work and resume routine activities the following day. If you have questions or pain that does not respond to medication, please give our office a call. Many insurance companies cover apicoectomy surgery under normal endodontic coverage but checking with them is suggested.
Usually the alternative to surgery is extraction of the problem tooth. After the extraction you will need to replace the extracted tooth with an implant, removable partial denture or bridge to restore chewing area and prevent other teeth from shifting. We would be happy to discuss these options with you and your dentist if an extraction is required.