Apical Surgery

I have found that root canals rarely fail. When a root canal fails it is usually do to one of the following::

      Unusual and undetectable tooth anatomy.
      Small accessory and lateral nerve canals that can not be instrumented.
      Cyst formation
      Cracked tooth
Most of the "failures" can be saved, with the exception of a severely cracked tooth,  with a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. This surgery involves removal of the the root tip or "apex" of the tooth root. This is normally where abnormal root anatomy and extra canals are present. During the procedure, the area around the root tip is also cleaned or curettaged to remove any granulation (abnormal healing) tissue and cystic formations. Apicoectomy is an in office procedure performed by an Oral Surgeon or Endodontic specialist. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic and you may have IV sedation to relax you. Pain medication will be prescribed to keep you from experiencing any discomfort. The area may be sore for three to four days days.
Surgical Details

Opening and Root Tip Cut
Root Tip Removed Reverse Filling Placed
Complete Healing

The gum is reflected (lifted) from an area adjacent to the root area of the tooth. Access to the root tip is then made by removing the thin bone covering the end of the root. A small part of the the root tip is then removed and the remaining root is checked to make sure it is sealed. Apical or Retrofilling (reverse filling)  will be required to seal all canals that are found that are not properly sealed . Without proper sealing of all the canals present  in a tooth the procedure will not be successful.

The area around the root tip is then cleaned and curetted. The gum is placed back into position and sutured (stitched). After healing all infection at the tip of the root should disappear and bone should heal to fill in the area around the root tip.

Hemisection is a surgical procedure which involves removing only one root of a multi-rooted tooth, and may be required in one of the following situations:
  • Endodontic Failure of an individual root which is not retreatable
  • Bone Loss around an individual root (periodontal disease)
These teeth usually do very well with one less root. Removing  the front root of a lower second molar and using it as a bridge anchor (abutment) to replace a missing first molar, prevents the need for a partial denture or dental implant.

  [Endodontics] [Endo. Procedure] [Endo. Surgery] [Apicoectomy]

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Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD
2009 Birdcreek Terrace Temple, TX 76502 254.773.9007 | Fax 254.773.8051
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