In the rare event that a tooth fails to respond to root canal therapy and root canal retreatment is not a viable option, root canal surgery is necessary to save the tooth. This procedure is apical surgery, or apicoectomy. It is also known as root-end resection, because it is, quite simply, the removal of the root tip (and the surrounding infected tissue) of an abscessed tooth. This procedure also provides the opportunity to detect possible root fractures.
How apicoectomy is performed.
With apical surgery, the first step is to numb the tooth completely. At Texarkana Endodontics in East Texas, Dr. Michel emphasizes maximum patient comfort, and he anesthetizes patients in stages to ensure that they feel no pain during the procedure. Next, he makes an incision in the gum tissue near the tooth to expose the underlying bone and the root of the affected tooth. He then gently removes the infected tissue at and around the root and cuts off the root tip.
After that, Dr. Michel disinfects the area and places a small filling in the root canal (where the root tip had been) to seal it. The gum is placed back into position and sutured. After a brief healing period, the gum tissue returns to normal and, after several months, the bone around the root end heals.
What to expect after surgery.
Following your apicoectomy, you may experience mild discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, Dr. Michel will recommend the appropriate pain medication.