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Root canal treatment is commonly used as a non-surgical treatment for saving the tooth. In some cases, when there is a long-standing issue with the root canal treated tooth, non-surgical treatment is not enough to save the tooth. In such conditions, a dental specialist, such as an endodontist will suggest a surgical dental procedure known as Apicoectomy.


An Apicoectomy is a type of root canal procedure that involves surgical removal of a tooth’s root tip and surrounding infected tissue in cases with the large infected periapical areas. Our teeth are held in place by their roots and extending into the jawbones. The root tip is also known as the apex or end of the tooth. The removal of root tip or Apicoectomy is also known as root end surgery. After the surgical removal of infected tissues, the canal is repaired with biocompatible material to seal the root end from bacteria and further reinfection.


A tooth is composed of three main parts the outermost is known as enamel, the middle is dentin and the pulp tissue forms the core of the tooth containing nerve and blood vessels. Several factors such as deep decay, trauma, bacterial infection, crack, chip, or even a fracture can cause inflammation and infection of the pulp tissue eventually spreading into surrounding bone, around the periradicular tissues, and tip of the root. Endodontic treatment or commonly known as root canal treatment is required when the pulp tissue is infected or inflamed. The conventional root canal treatment involves drilling a small access cavity in the pulp chamber to remove the infected and inflamed pulpal tissue, disinfecting the canals and chamber followed by filling of the root canals.

As it is evident, it takes a lot of work to treat an infected root canal. In some cases, canals become re-infected because of several reasons including new or recurrent infections, missed canals, undetected accessory canals, calcification or narrowing of canals. Sometimes a conventional root canal re-treatment may not be feasible instead, an alternative approach to treat infection from the root end of the tooth.


An Apicoectomy is a surgical procedure through the gums. First, the area is completely numbed with local anesthesia, followed by a small incision at the level of the affected root area through the gum tissues allowing direct access to the infected periapical tissues. The infected and inflamed tissue is removed along with few millimetres of the root tip. After cutting of root tip, a small filling is then placed at the cut end of the root to seal the root canal to prevent further infection. The surgical site is then closed with stitches to ensure proper closure of gums and healing of surrounding tissues. With time, the area around the root end will heal and return to its normal function. An apicoectomy usually takes 30 to 90 minutes. The location of the tooth and the intricacy of the root structure can affect the time needed to complete the surgery.


You may feel pain, some discomfort, and swelling at the site. These symptoms gradually reduce over a period of one or two days. Your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the discomfort and fight the existing infection or to prevent post-operative complications. our specialist at Channel Family Island Dental Office, dentist in Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will guide to regarding the brushing technique and some dietary restrictions for some days. Sutures or stitches are usually removed within a week of the procedure.


Apicoectomies are minor surgical procedures used routinely in outpatient dental patients. Several long-term studies have reported excellent results post apical surgery.

The root end surgeries are generally considered safe and risk free but on rare occasions, it is considered a failure, if it fails to relieve symptoms or causes post-operative complications or nerve damage. Post-operative complications are extremely rare.

It is very important to follow instructions given by the doctor after surgery to avoid any infections and delayed healing.

It is not advisable to overlook the signs and symptoms of persistent pain, fever and discomfort after any surgical or non-surgical procedure. We, at Channel Island family Dental Office, thoroughly examine our patients, to reduce post procedural complications to minimum.


If you have any questions about this topic or any other, please feel free to contact or visit us at Channel Island Family Dental. As well as on our Facebook page. At Channel Island Family Dental, we are always attentive to your needs to make a timely diagnosis. In addition, our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula, Newbury Park  Ventura, and  Port Hueneme will guide you to the best treatment to give you back your best smile.


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