What is an Apicoectomy?
When a conventional root canal is not successful or can not be performed, endodontic surgery may be required. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent re-infection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function. Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office.


  • Your local anesthesia should last about three (3) hours.
  • The surgical area has been closed with sutures. The suture will resorb (dissolve) in 7 to 10 days.
  • For proper healing it is advised that you observe the following:
    • For DENTAL EXTRACTIONS do not rinse with anything other than the prescribed rinse and do so very gently to preserve the forming blood clot. DO NOT RINSE AT ALL FOR AT LEAST THREE HOURS. Loss of the forming blood clot will usually result in a “dry socket” which is quite painful. Therefore, do not rinse or spit forcefully.
    • For ENDODONTIC SURGERY you may rinse somewhat more freely. Apply ice wrapped in something (hand towel, ice bag) to your face over the surgical and/or extraction site area for 20 MINUTES ON AND 20 MINUTES OFF FOR ABOUT 3 HOURS.
    • You may eat your normal diet at any time, just eat on the opposite side and keep food away from the surgical area.
    • Maintain your normal oral hygiene habits, but stay off the surgical area until after your post-op visit.

Please call our office at anytime should you have a concern.

Remember to take your prescribed medicines.