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What is an apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is a treatment typically performed on patients with a failed root canal. If you are suffering from a failed root canal, it’s possible that an apicoectomy can save your tooth from extraction.

In this article, we’ll cover why root canals fail, who is a good candidate for an apicoectomy, and what to expect from the procedure.

How does a root canal fail?

While most root canals are a success, there is a slight chance that not all of the infected tissue will be removed.

How does it work?

An apicoectomy is performed under local anesthetic and takes between 60 to 90 minutes. Your endodontist or oral surgeon will make a small incision along the gumline to access the root tip and jaw structure and use a microscope to get a more detailed view of the infected area. The infected root tips will then be removed and replaced with a small bone graft before suturing the incision shut.

Who is a good candidate for retrograde root canal treatment?

Prior to recommending an apicoectomy, x-rays and other diagnostics will be used to determine the extent of the infection. If the infection is contained, it is likely that you will be a good candidate. If the infection has spread into the jawbone, the tooth may need to be extracted.

What if I am not a candidate for apicoectomy?

If you are not a candidate for apicoectomy, it is likely that your tooth will need to be extracted to protect your jaw from further infection. Following extraction, a prosthetic replacement can be installed in the form of a dental implant or bridge.