An apicoectomy is performed to treat an infection that has spread to the tip of the root, typically following a failed root canal.

Doctor points to filled root canal in dental x-ray

An apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the tip of a tooth’s root. It is also known as a root-end resection or retrograde root canal treatment.

An apicoectomy is performed to treat an infection that has spread to the tip of the root. This type of infection is called a periapical abscess. The infection can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area around the tooth.

During an apicoectomy, the dentist or oral surgeon will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. They will then make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the root tip. The infected tissue and the tip of the root will be removed. The root canal will then be cleaned and sealed.

The entire procedure usually takes about 30-60 minutes. After the procedure, you may experience some pain and bleeding, but this is usually mild and can be managed with pain medication. You will also be given instructions on how to care for your mouth after the procedure.

Most people can go home the same day as their apicoectomy. However, you may need to take a few days off from work or school to rest and recover. You should avoid strenuous activity and smoking for at least a week after the procedure.

Here are some of the risks associated with an apicoectomy:

  • Infection: This is the most common risk associated with an apicoectomy. Infection can usually be treated with antibiotics.
  • Bleeding: This is another common risk associated with an apicoectomy. Bleeding can usually be controlled with pressure and medication.
  • Nerve damage: This is a rare risk associated with an apicoectomy. Nerve damage can cause numbness or tingling in the lip, chin, or tongue.
  • Dry socket: This condition occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site is dislodged. A dry socket can be painful and can take several weeks to heal.

If you are considering an apicoectomy, talk to your dentist about the risks and benefits of the procedure. They can help you decide if an apicoectomy is the right choice.

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