Q What is an Apicectomy?

A An apicectomy is a minor surgical procedure to remove the top of the root of a dead tooth and then seal the end with a filling.

Q Why would I need an Apicectomy

A When a tooth is badly decayed, has a large filling or receives a blow, for example, in an accident, the soft tissues within it (the pulp) may die. This dead tissue must be removed to prevent infection and this is undertaken by a procedure called root canal treatment. Sometimes, this treatment is unsuccessful or not possible and the infection persists at the tip of the root. This may sometimes cause pain and may also result in discharge of pus from the gum above the tooth which is sometimes called a gumboil. An apicectomy is the operation designed to remove this infected part of the root tip. The apicectomy gives an alternative to having the tooth extracted.

Q What happens during an Apicectomy?

A The procedure involves making a small incision in the gum above the tooth and the end of the root is cleaned and trimmed. Sometimes an additional seal (a retrograde root filling) is added to the end of the root. An apicectomy is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic, but sometimes sedation or a general anaesthetic may be required. Your dentist will advise you on this. The process takes approximately 20-30 minutes.