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An apicoectomy is a surgery that involves the root tip, or the “apex” of the tooth root. The term “ectomy” means to excise, or cut. During this procedure the area around the root tip is also cleaned to remove any abnormal tissue or cystic formations.
Typically, the treatment is required when an individual has a toothache in a tooth that has already had a root canal procedure. This procedure will remove infection from the tooth root and bone around the tooth in order to prolong the useful life of the tooth.
On the day of the procedure, the patient is made comfortable in a treatment room, and the appropriate anesthesia is provided. The patient will be made as comfortable as possible.
The gum is lifted from an area near the root area of the tooth. Your doctor accesses the root tip by removing the thin bone covering the end of the root. A small part of the root tip is then removed, and the remaining root is checked to make sure that it is sealed. All canals are checked to be sure they are properly sealed, and a root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root. The gum is sutured closed, and the bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months.
After surgery, the patient will be observed in the office and discharged when appropriate. Follow up will be arranged for the following week. Typically, recovery is rapid with perhaps 1-3 days of minor swelling and discomfort. Patients can usually resume usual activities within 48 hours.