Apicoectomy Surgery

Man undergoing apicoectomy

Table of Contents

What Is Apicoectomy?

Apicoectomy, also known as root end surgery, is a dental procedure involving the removal of the tooth’s root tip and the infected tissue encircling it. It is typically performed when a root canal has failed to eradicate the infection in the root tip or when a root canal is not an appropriate treatment option due to factors such as the tooth’s morphology or the presence of a blockage.

An apicoectomy is generally regarded as a safe and effective procedure, but as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These can include swelling, bleeding, infection, and tooth or nerve injury in the vicinity. Before the procedure, your dentist or endodontist will discuss these risks with you and answer any concerns you may have.

A woman examining her reflection in a mirror, contemplating an apicoectomy
Benefits of Apicoectomy
A woman in a dentist chair

What Are the Differences between a Root Canal & an Apicoectomy?

A root canal is a dental procedure that addresses inflammation and infection in the pulp tissue located within a tooth. Inflammation of the tooth’s pulp can result in severe tooth decay and abscess formation, which may cause bone involvement if left untreated.

We will clean the root area, extract the pulp from your tooth, and fill and seal it afterward. In cases where tooth extraction is not necessary, we can treat dental disease and decay.

On the contrary, an apicoectomy solely impacts the apex of the root. It is typically a subsequent to a root canal procedure to repair the root or the surrounding dental tissues.

What Is Apicoectomy Procedure?

Here’s a rundown of how the Apicoetmoy works:

  • You’ll receive a local anesthetic to make the region around the damaged tooth as comfortable as possible before any work.
  • During the procedure, your dentist or endodontist will cut through your gum and move the gum tissue out of the way to get to the root. Most of the time, dentists only remove a few millimeters of the root and any infected tissue near the root.
  • After the dentists take out the root tip, they will clean the inside of the tooth, and the root canal is sealed with a small filling to keep the tooth from getting infected again. After that, your dentist or endodontist might perform another X-ray to ensure that your tooth and jaw are healthy and that there are no crevices where a new infection could develop.
  • Your dentist will stitch the tissue together so your gum can heal and grow back where it belongs. Your jawbone will also heal around the filling at the end of the root in the long run. During the process, you shouldn’t feel much, if any, pain or discomfort.

Most of the time, an apicoectomy takes 30 to 90 minutes. How long it takes to finish the surgery depends on where the tooth is and how complicated the root structure is.

A person getting their teeth cleaned during an Apicoectomy procedure
Woman displaying satisfaction with the apicoectomy procedure

Why Do You Need an Apicoectomy?

There exist multiple rationales for a dentist to suggest root-end surgery. Restoring a tooth with root canal therapy is the most common problem.

Root canal treatment typically has a long-lasting effect, but in some cases, the tooth may not heal properly and become re-infected. Therefore, our dentists would perform an apicoectomy in Houston, Texas, to eliminate the damaged tissue and preserve the tooth without requiring a dental extraction.

What to Expect after an Apicoectomy?

You can expect the following side effects right after an apicoectomy:

  • Getting swollen after surgery
  • Bleeding after surgery
  • Some painkillers for an apicoectomy can cause side effects like dizziness and tiredness.


It is very important to do what your endodontist tells you to do to take care of your teeth after surgery. Among these steps are:

  • Following the directions on a prescription
  • Cleaning the area often will keep it from getting irritated.
  • Changing your diet as told
  • Keeping away from situations and activities that could lead to a fall or mouth injury
Smiling woman showcasing her teeth, post-apicoectomy procedure
Perfect Smile in Houston, Texas

Post Apicoectomy Procedure

The bone will start the mending process surrounding the root after the surgery and will take several months to finish. However, because this procedure is so precise, it usually has a very high success rate when it comes to getting rid of the bacterial infection that caused the initial need for a root canal treatment. Therefore, if your initial root canal therapy failed and your subsequent treatment was ineffective, your dentist can help you through what at first appears to be a problematic surgery by performing an inexpensive apicoectomy.

We Accept Most Insurance Companies

We will be glad to file a predetermination for you to verify coverage of any necessary dental treatment. And we accept most PPO insurances.