Apicoectomy

Orange Coast Endodontics

Payal Dholakiya, DDS

Endodontist located in Irvine, CA

Sometimes, when you feel painful symptoms associated with damage to the pulp of your tooth, a non-surgical root canal procedure alone can’t remedy the situation. Deeper issues that don’t appear on X-rays might be causing your tooth pain and sometimes endodontic surgery is required. Make an appointment with Dr. Payal Dholakiya at Orange Coast Endodontics in Irvine, California today to find out if you need an apicoectomy procedure to address your tooth pain.

Apicoectomy Q & A

What is an apicoectomy?

The most common surgical procedure used to save a tooth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection. It’s a procedure that Dr. Dholakiya performs routinely. When inflammation or infection affects the bony section around the end of your tooth, sometimes even after a root canal procedure, you may need an apicoectomy.

During surgery, Dr. Dholakiya makes an incision in the gum tissue near the affected tooth, exposing the bone and surrounding infected tissue. The inflamed or infected tissue is removed, along with the very end of the root. A root-end filling is placed in the root to tightly seal the end of the root canal and the gum is sutured to help the tissue heal better.

The bone around the end of the root naturally heals over a period of several months, after which full function is restored.

Why do I need endodontic surgery?

There are several reasons why you might need endodontic surgery to save your tooth:

  • Surgery allows Dr. Dholakiya to examine the entire root of your tooth and find symptom-causing problems like tiny fractures that don’t appear on x-rays or during root canals.
  • Surgery can address calcium deposits that cause canals too narrow to treat with tools used in non-surgical treatment. Dr. Dholakiya may perform surgery to clean and seal the canal.
  • In rare cases, a tooth that underwent a root canal may not fully heal or become infected, requiring surgery.
  • Damage to root surfaces or surrounding bone can require surgery.

Does the procedure hurt?

Dr. Dholakiya uses local anesthetics to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. You may experience some minor swelling while the gum incision heals. This sort of reaction is normal for any surgical procedure. She provides specific postoperative instructions to follow. To relieve any pain or discomfort, she recommends an appropriate pain medication. If pain doesn’t subside after using medication, please call the office immediately.  

When can I resume my normal activities?

Most patients return to work and other everyday activities the day following treatment. Dr. Dholakiya is more than happy to discuss your expected post-surgery recovery time with you.