Root canals are performed by general dentists or endodontists. Such procedures are performed in order to remove inflamed pulpal tissue and preserve dental structure for placement of a post and crown. Occasionally, dental infection does not resolve with root canal therapy alone. If infection is limited to the end portion of the root or root apex, an apicoectomy procedure may prove to be successful and allow a patient to preserve the tooth without disturbing restorative work. The infection can be surgically removed and small portion of root apex will be amputated. The nerve end opening into the dental canal is sealed off with a filling material in order to prevent further leakage of infection. The procedure is painless and usually takes less than 20 minutes to complete by using IV anesthesia or local anesthesia alone.
The success of such procedure largely depends on the extent of the peri-apical or root tip infection and how successfully such infection can be removed by the oral surgeon. During your pre-operative consultation, your surgeon will discuss the prognosis and any potential complications in order to determine if you are a candidate for an apicoectomy.