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Apicoectomy (Endodontic Surgery)

Should a root canal be unsuccessful, an apicoectomy needs to be performed.  In cases where an infection lingers or comes back after a root canal, an  apicoectomy is usually necessary.  It is sometimes difficult to ensure that a root canal takes care of all of the infected tissue, especially when the infection spreads to many nerves.  In an apicoectomy the tip of the root of the tooth is removed and a filling is put in its place.

Most of the time, a second root canal will be considered before moving forward with an apicoectomy.  Root canals are less complicated and less invasive.  Prior to the apicoectomy beginning, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area.  The dentist will create a small incision in your gum to reveal the root of the tooth.  Inflamed tissue will be removed and the area will be cleaned.  The surgery is contained to a small area and only a few millimeters are taken from the root.  Dentists will use small precision instruments and magnification to perform the surgery.  Because it is such a precise procedure, it has a high success rate.  Once the root is removed and the filling is placed, the gums are then sutured.  It is possible that you might have to return to remove the sutures.  In some cases, dissolving sutures may be used that would not require you to come back.  The bone will begin to heal around the root over the next several months.

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