Dental Problems

Apicoectomy – What is Apicoectomy?


Apicoectomy is a surgical procedure to remove an infection that results from an unsuccessful root canal therapy or surgery. In this article, we shall know the purpose and procedure of apicoectomy.

The main purpose of root canal therapy is to remove inflamed or infected tissue in the canal and clean them. Sometimes, it so happens that an infection develops after the surgery or wont go way even after root canal therapy or re-treatment of root canal therapy.

Indications for Apicoectomy

Dentist indicates apicoectomy only after a tooth has had at least 1 root canal procedure with failure. It is also indicated when the re-treatment of root canal therapy is not successful or not possible.

It is also called as endodontic microsurgery as it is often done using a microscope. It is not the same as a root section as in this an entire root is removed rather than just the tip.

The Procedure

The surgical procedure is done by oral surgeons and endodontists. Before the procedure, a complete diagnosis (X-rays) is done to see the extent of damage to the teeth tissue. The patient is given antimicrobial mouth wash and a medicine to reduce the inflammation.

The surgeon cuts the gum and lifts it away from the tooth to catch the root of the teeth. He may use a dye to highlight cracks and breaks in the tooth. If the tooth has a larger cracks or breaks then it may needs to be extracted. In this case, the apicoectomy is stopped and another procedure is taken up.

In all circumstances, the surgeon tries to clean and seal the end of the tooth’s canal. He uses a special microscope to do this. The light and magnification of the microscope helps the surgeon to see the area clearly. Then the surgeon may take an X-ray of the area before stitching the tooth tissue back in place.

What is the time taken

Most apicoectomies take not more than 90 minutes to complete. It depends on the location of the tooth and the complexity of the root structure. Apicoectomies of front teeth take less time where as of lower molars take more time.

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