What Is Apical Surgery?

What Is Apical Surgery?

Team Endodontist

Apical surgery is also known as root-end surgery, endodontic microsurgery, and apicoectomy. Irrespective of the term you use, the surgery is used to treat infections of the root apex that cannot be treated with non-surgical methods. This is normally necessary if the tooth has already been treated with conventional root canal therapy, but there is a new or persistent problem in the apical portion of the root. 

Here are some examples of situations where surgery may be indicated:  

  • Suspected additional anatomy that can only be accessed through a surgical approach 
  • Root defects such as fractures or cemental tears that need to be surgically removed
  • Alterations of the apex of the root that could not be changed with non-surgical root canal therapy
  • Restorative elements that would risk fracture of the tooth if removed

What Happens During Apical Surgery Procedure?

When you arrive for your procedure, you will first receive local anesthesia to completely numb the area to be treated. Then, your endodontist will make a small incision in the gingiva near the affected tooth. 

Your endodontist will very carefully remove the very tip of the root and any infected or inflamed tissue in the area. Your endodontic surgeon will then place a biocompatible restoration at the apex of the root to prevent reinfection. The incision will be sutured to ensure proper healing.

The entire surgery generally takes less than 90 minutes. Some patients may find that their surgery is completed in less than one hour.  Following the surgery, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics if indicated.

What is Recovery from Apical Surgery Like?

Apical surgery is minimally invasive and performed in your endodontist’s office. However, you should expect to experience mild to moderate discomfort (swelling, tenderness, bruising) in the days immediately following the surgery. Over-the-counter pain medication is often all that is needed to make you comfortable as you recover.

You may feel more comfortable taking the rest of the day off following your surgery, but most patients return to work the next day.  You may also be advised to use an ice pack to minimize swelling. You should not chew on the side of the mouth where your surgery was performed in the days that follow your surgery.

Rest is incredibly important to a safe, speedy recovery, so you should not engage in any strenuous activity immediately after the procedure. You also need to treat the area carefully, using caution when brushing and flossing your teeth. Importantly, you should not use a straw, smoke cigarettes, vape, or drink alcohol, as all can slow your recovery.  

It is advisable to adhere to a soft food diet in the days that follow apical surgery. Cottage cheese, applesauce, fruit smoothies, mashed fruits or vegetables, yogurt, and soups (not piping hot) may be most comfortable to eat for a few days. You may wish to avoid citrus or spicy foods, as they can irritate the surgical site. 

You will return to the endodontist following your surgery so that the endodontist can confirm that the incision site is healing properly. 

Book an Appointment for Endodontic Surgery in Pleasant Hill, CA

Tittle Endodontics performs apical surgery in Pleasant Hill, CA.  Our father and daughter team are top Google-reviewed endodontists serving patients from Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord, Benicia, Danville, and surrounding areas in the East Bay. To book your appointment, call 925-676-3388, or send us a message and our staff will respond promptly.