This is a minor operation carried out in the root end of a root treated tooth which shows signs of recurring infection. It is performed to relieve the infection and fill the tip of the root so that more infection may not egress to the surrounding bone. By this type of surgery any cysts in the area of root apex can be removed.
Removal of excess root filling
Recurrent infections at root apex due to short root filling
Removal of cyst
Apicectomy is a useful procedure if performed on selected patients. There is a high success rate of up to 80% but the success rate reduces drastically if repeated procedures are performed and the root filling itself is questionable. Also there can be presence of secondary or extra canals at the apex of the root which can lead to repeated infection.
Generally this is a simple operation to perform. It is normal to have some pain swelling and bleeding. You may also experience some shrinkage of gums after they are stitched back and therefore more of the tooth may show through. It is also prudent in view of long term stability to consider having the tooth removed and replaced with more predictable alternative like a denture/bridge/implant if repeated infections were to occur.