Periapical surgery, also known as apicoectomy, is a dental procedure performed at the tip of a tooth’s root to stop leakage of diseased tissue or bacteria into the surrounding area. The procedure is most frequently indicated when a patient has had endodontic (root canal) therapy on a tooth but continues to have pain or infection.
An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with a small amount of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function. If a fracture of the root or other evidence of a hopeless prognosis is found during surgery, the tooth can either be removed at that time or at a later date when adequate plans have been made to replace the tooth.
There is usually mild to moderate post-operative discomfort. Swelling will occur and reach its peak on the second or third day. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office.
Overall, periapical/apicoectomy surgery is often a good approach to save a tooth that has not responded well to root canal therapy. Feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure.