Associates In Facial and Oral Surgery
Oral Surgery
Monroeville PA

Apicoectomy/Root Canal Surgery

Generally all that is needed to save a tooth with an injured nerve/pulp from a dental extraction is for the dentist or root canal specialist to perform root canal therapy. However, this relatively non-invasive procedure (root canal therapy) will in some instances not be adequate to salvage the tooth and your dentist or root canal specialist will suggest endodontic surgery which usually involves an apicoectomy.

apicoectomy & root canal performed by your oral surgeon in monroeville pa

The tip of the root of a tooth is called its apex; the use of the suffix, ectomy means to remove something. Thus an apicoectomy means the surgical removal of the tip of the root of an offending tooth. In some cases there may be a draining pimple (parulis) in the gum above or below the tip of the root of a tooth which reveals that the infection from the dead pulp/nerve inside the tooth has spread beyond the tooth root and into the surrounding bone. The parulis is usually seen before root canal therapy and resolves after the root canal therapy is completed. It is not uncommon that the parulis or chronic infection will persist even after root canal therapy. When this occurs the doctor will recommend an apicoectomy.

The surgery for apicoectomy can be utilized to locate root fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on dental radiographs but continue to cause pain in the involved tooth. In some instances damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. There are new dental materials that can be used to seal unusually injured root surfaces and inadvertent perforations.