Sometimes, the top of a teeth’s’ roots (the apex) develop an infection which won’t respond to root canal treatment. A procedure called an apicetomy (pronounced a-pee-sec-tomy), can be used to remove the infection and seal the top of the root.
What is the treatment?
The procedure can be done under local anesthesia. The gum around the tooth raised, some bone at the top of the root will be removed to access the apex. All of the infection is then removed and the area is washed out.
In general, 2-3mm of the apex are removed and a seal is placed at the top which should prevent any further infection. The gum is then stitched back into place with dissolving stitches. The procedure takes around 40 minutes and is more common on front teeth.
What happens after?
This procedure can sometimes be quite sore afterwards, but this is dependent upon the individual and how complex the surgery was. Swelling, bruising and some discomfort is common. You will be advised by your surgeon on the best way to manage this.
Further information and some diagrams can be seen on the advice sheet from the British Association of Oral Surgeons