An apicoectomy is a dental procedure that is also known as “root end surgery,” or “root-end resection.” This type of endodontic surgery is used to save a tooth when the apex of the root is infected and cannot predictably be addressed by re-treating the tooth non-surgically.
Root end surgery removes the end of a tooth’s root, known as the apex, while saving the rest of the tooth. It is basically an upside down root canal treatment where we clean the source of the infection from the end of the root instead of through the top portion of your tooth. An endodontist, a dentist that specializes in these types of procedures, usually performs the apicoectomy.
Learning about the procedure can help you feel more comfortable during the procedure and plan for the costs.
Who Needs a Root-End Resection?
An apicoectomy is required when re-treating the tooth from the crown area may cause extensive damage or an unpredictable treatment outcome. The alternative is to extract the tooth altogether and replace it with an implant if possible. If your dentist has recommended an apicoectomy, it’s likely because saving this tooth is important to your comprehensive dental plan and overall health.
How Does Root End Surgery Work?
The endodontist first uses digital imaging technology to create 3D images of the area. This allows them to have a plan of action that fits the patient’s unique needs.
While no two surgeries are the same, apicoectomies generally follow similar steps. The endodontist:
- Opens the gums just over the affected root apex
- Uses special tools to detect and remove any tissue that is infected or inflamed
- Removes the tip of the root, usually only a few millimeters
- Uses an ultrasonic tool to remove any contaminated filling material at the end of the remaining root
- Fills the new space with a material to seal the end of the canal
- Stitches the gums to help them heal
Your doctor will see you approximately one week after the surgery to remove the sutures. After a while, your bone will heal and fill the space where the apex had been.
Root-End Resection in Contra Costa County
If you’re worried about getting an apicoectomy, trust the experts. As an endodontist, Doctor Kenneth Tittle, DDS, MS and Dr. Mia Tittle, DDS, MSD have advanced training in dental surgery, including root-end resections. They have earned many of the highest distinctions in this field and stay up to date on the latest technology and surgical techniques.
If you have an inflamed apex, do not wait. The infection can grow quickly and jeopardize your tooth. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.