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An apicoectomy is done only after a tooth has had at least one root canal procedure and retreatment has not been successful or is not possible. For example, retreatment is often not a good option when a tooth has a crown or is part of a bridge. Retreatment of the root canal would require cutting through the crown or bridge. That might destroy or weaken the crown or bridge.
The Apicoectomy Procedure
The endodontist will make a small incision in your gum and lift the gum away from the tooth and bone. The dentist may need to use a drill to gain access to the root. The infected tissue will be removed along with the last few millimeters of the root tip. To complete the apicoectomy, the endodontist will clean and seal the end of the tooth's canal. The cleaning usually is done under a special microscope using ultrasonic instruments. The endodontist then will take an X-ray of the area before stitching the tissue back in place.
Most apicoectomies take 30 to 90 minutes. The length will depend on the location of the tooth and the complexity of the root structure. Procedures on front teeth are generally the shortest. Those on lower molars generally take the longest.
Your dentist at mycharlestondentist.com will determine whether you need an apicoectomy. Call us at mycharlestondentist.com.