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What is a root tip extraction?

Called an apicoectomy, the surgery involves the root tip, or the “apex” of the tooth root, with “ectomy” meaning to excise, or cut. During this procedure, the area around the root tip is also cleaned to remove any abnormal tissue or cystic formations.

Why do I need an apicoectomy?

Typically, this treatment is required when someone has a toothache in a tooth that has already had a root canal procedure. The apicoectomy removes infection from the tooth root and bone around the tooth, in order to prolong the useful life of the tooth.

What does the procedure entail?

On the day of the procedure, the patient is made comfortable and the appropriate anesthesia is provided. The gum is lifted from an area near the root area of the tooth. We access the root tip by removing the thin bone covering the end of the root. A small part of the root tip is then removed, and the remaining root is checked to make sure that it is sealed. Just as with a regular surgical extraction, all canals are checked to be sure they are properly sealed. A root-end filling is then placed to prevent reinfection of the root. The gum is sutured closed, and the bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months.

Follow up is arranged for the following week. Typically, recovery is quick, with perhaps 1-3 days of minor swelling and discomfort. Patients can usually resume their regular activities within 24 hours.