Diagram of tooth and root canal

Apicoectomy

In some cases, root canal therapy may fail to resolve a dental infection.

Apicoectomy is a conservative retreatment that removes the tip of the root canal along with the infected tissue.

Why will this help if root canal treatment didn’t?

Diagram of tooth and root canal

Apicoectomy Precisely Targets Small Areas of Infection

Conservative Treatment

Unlike surgeries which completely remove one or more roots, apicoectomy only removes a portion of the root tip. Preserving the most dental tissue possible is always preferable.

More Accurate Treatment

Root canals are notoriously complex systems. During the initial treatment, it can be difficult to remove infected tissue from tiny branches of the root tip (apex). Directly accessing the area can be more effective.

Maintains Restorations

Repeating root canal treatment can weaken a dental filling or dental crown. Apicoectomy leaves restorations completely undisturbed.

Apicoectomy illustration Apicoectomy illustration

A Reliable Alternative to Re-Treatment

*According to the Journal of Endodontics 

Is Treatment Expensive?

Apicoectomy typically costs between $900-$1,300 without insurance and $100-$500 out-of-pocket under a typical dental plan. Your dentist might determine that the only alternative is extraction, which can cost $75 to $200. After extraction, you will need to replace the missing tooth. A single dental implant ranges from $1,600-$2,200, not including the dental crown. Traditional bridges cost between $500-$1,200 per artificial tooth, but this solution will require alteration of healthy teeth and cannot stop the bone atrophy that follows tooth loss.

What to Expect During the Procedure

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Your endodontist will first numb the treatment area. You might also receive medication to help you relax.

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The doctor will then make a small incision in the gums near the tooth.

Infected tissue will be removed, including the very end of the root.

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The doctor will place a small dental filling at the end of the root. This seals the canal and prevents reinfection.

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To complete the procedure, the dentist will use a small number of sutures to close the gum tissue.

Your Doctor Might Recommend Another Root Canal Treatment

Some patients may need a second root canal treatment instead. In other cases, extracting the tooth is the best option. Other types of endodontic surgery, such as root amputation, could also be recommended.

Protect Your Smile

If root canal therapy has failed to restore your oral health, apicoectomy might be a viable alternative to extraction. Contact a doctor today to learn more about the best way to protect your smile.

Dr. Lunn

Chattanooga Family Dentistry

Dr. Andrew Lunn is a highly trained general, restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentist who has completed hundreds of hours of training in order to provide his patients with the most advanced care. He is a member of several prestigious organizations:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Society of Anesthesiology
  • Tennessee Dental Society of Anesthesiology
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • Chattanooga Area Dental Association

To schedule an appointment at our family-friendly dental practice, request a consultation online or call us at (423) 553-8858.

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So thankful to finally have a dentist who knows what he is doing!! Everyone is so friendly and makes me feel welcome. It takes away the anxiety of going to the dentist. Anna - patient

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