Apicoectomy Surgery: Features of the Procedure, Pros and Cons


An apicoectomy involves surgically removing the infected portion of the apex of a tooth to avoid potential infections. Widely employed in endodontic care, this procedure serves as a crucial option for treating teeth afflicted with deep-rooted infections in cases where conventional methods prove futile or impractical.

What Is Apicoectomy?

The dentist's main goal is to save the tooth using all potential ways, and an apicoectomy of the tooth is among the methods employed for this purpose. This surgical intervention entails excising the damaged part of the root, effectively saving the tooth in situations of significant disease, injury, or tumors. By stopping inflammation from spreading, apex resection not only preserves the tooth's function but also contributes significantly to maintaining oral health overall.

The foremost advantages of apical dental treatment lie in its ability to save the natural tooth, crucial for oral function, aesthetics, and overall oral well-being. Additionally, this surgery effectively eradicates infection from the root canal, preventing its dissemination to neighboring tissues and teeth, thereby contributing to the general health of the oral cavity.

Nevertheless, it's important to consider the cons linked with this method. Firstly, being a surgical process, it entails risks like infection, bleeding, and discomfort, necessitating a recovery period. In uncommon instances, complications such as harm to nearby structures such as nerves or blood vessels may arise, potentially mandating further intervention or surgery. Despite these drawbacks, in the majority of cases, the advantages of apicoectomy surgery, including tooth preservation and successful infection treatment, prevail over its disadvantages when all stages of treatment are performed correctly.

Features of Apicoectomy Surgery

Carrying out any operation requires a set of measures to prevent complications. During root apex resection, the integrity of the tissue is compromised, which opens a direct path for infections. The duration of the surgical intervention ranges from 20 to 40 minutes. Treatment of anterior teeth occurs faster than that of chewing teeth.

The preparatory steps involving local anesthesia, the apicoectomy molar tooth procedure commences with a minor incision in the gum by the endodontist to access the apex of the tooth root. Utilizing specialized tools, the infected root tip is carefully excised, and the root canal is thoroughly cleaned. Subsequently, the canal is filled with a specific material to forestall any potential recurrence of infection. The procedure concludes with either a temporary filling of the canal or the application of sutures. Patients are provided with post-operative care instructions and may be advised to take pain relievers. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to monitor the healing progress and the tooth's condition post-procedure.

Following apical dental surgery, patients may experience transient discomfort such as mild pain or swelling, which can be alleviated with pain medication recommended by the specialist. Adherence to the endodontist's guidelines regarding wound care and overall oral hygiene is crucial.

Sometimes, after apical surgery, a temporary coronal filler may be required, which is replaced with a more permanent option in the next stage of treatment. Patients should also pay attention to their oral hygiene habits and visit the NYC dentist regularly to monitor the health of their teeth and gums.

In What Cases Is Apicoectomy Used?

Inflammation can last for a long time without being noticed. A person can lead an active lifestyle, work, and travel, without knowing about the presence of granuloma in the root of the tooth for many years. When there are no apparent symptoms or pain, the patient may only discover an infection through an X-ray. It's crucial to recognize that such infections won't resolve spontaneously. Thus, consistent dental check-ups are vital for early detection and the application of minimally invasive treatment approaches.

Apical root surgery may be recommended under the following conditions: detection of a cyst or periodontitis, presence of a granuloma or fibroma larger than 1 cm, damage to the root walls due to a previous filling, breakage of an instrument in the root canal, or failure of pulpitis treatment. Root apex resection may be indicated in cases where a crown or bridge is present, avoiding the need to remove and reinstall dentures. This procedure may also be recommended if there are difficulties with conservative treatment.

In a modern dental practics, apicoectomy root canal surgery is quick and painless for the patient. This process can save the tooth and prevent additional costs for prosthetics or implantation. If it is possible to save a tooth by cutting off the problematic part of the root, doctors strongly recommend using this procedure. Determining the possibility of resection is based on the condition of the root and surrounding tissues established during the diagnostic process.

Article Approved by:

Reena Clarkson Orthodontist, DDS