If you’ve had extensive tooth decay, you may have undergone a root canal that was meant to save the tooth. In most cases, this procedure is enough to restore the tooth to health and give you back full functionality. However, it sometimes happens that a root canal treatment develops complications or otherwise is not entirely successful. If this happens, a procedure known as an apicoectomy will become necessary to save the tooth.
This procedure is a surgery performed on the end of the tooth root. Because it has been infected, the tooth root will be removed and a small filling placed to prevent further problems. An apicoectomy might become necessary if the tooth that received the root canal treatment has complex roots.
To prepare for the surgery, your endodontist will need to take x-rays of the tooth as well as the surrounding bone. You may need to prep your mouth for the procedure as well, with such things as an antimicrobial mouth rinse, a medicine to reduce inflammation, and/or antibiotics. Local anesthesia is used to make the treatment more comfortable.
For the first 12 hours after surgery, you may experience some swelling. To alleviate this, you can apply ice packs to the side of the face near the affected area in a rotation of 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. You should avoid eating crunchy or hard foods for the first few days following the procedure. You may be prescribed some pain medications, but overall, you should be able to return to normal activities the day after surgery. You should recover completely within two weeks.