An apicoectomy refers to a procedure involving surgery to the area around the end of the root of a tooth. Another name for the procedure is periapical surgery. This procedure is usually performed on a tooth that has already had root canal therapy, when a traditional root canal fails to remove all the dead nerves and infected tissues.

An apicoectomy corrects the problem by removing the apex along with the surrounding damaged/infected tissue. This surgical procedure allows patients to preserve their natural tooth, which otherwise may have required extraction.

What does an apicoectomy involve?

During an apicoectomy, a very small incision is made to open the gum tissue near the troublesome tooth. With the underlying bone exposed, Dr. Khan uses advanced equipment to remove the infected tissue along with the end of the root tips. Once this process is complete, the end of the tooth canal is cleaned and sealed to prevent re-infection, and the gum tissue is sutured to help the tissue heal properly. Once surgery is complete, the bone will naturally heal around the end of the root and restore the tooth’s full function.

What is the recovery like?

Following an apicoectomy, Dr. Khan will provide special instructions on postoperative care. This may include which medications to take and any foods that should be avoided. Swelling and numbness are normal in the first couple of weeks following the procedure, and for this reason, ice should be applied for the first 12 hours after surgery.

Rest is especially important following an apicoectomy. Patients should also avoid vigorous rinsing, brushing and pulling or lifting the lips to allow for quick and complete healing.