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What is an Apicoectomy?

What is an Apicoectomy?
October 23, 2014

Each tooth you have is held in place by a root that extends to your jawbone. The front teeth usually have one root, while other teeth such as your premolars and molars have two or more roots.

The end of each root is called the apex. Blood vessels and nerves enter the tooth through the apex. Then, they travel through a canal inside the root and up and into the pulp chamber. This chamber is inside the crown, which is the part of the tooth that you can see in your mouth.

During a root canal procedure the dentist cleans the canals using special tools called files to remove infected or inflamed tissue. An apicoectomy is needed when a dentist did not correctly remove the inflamed tissue, or when an infection develops after the root canal treatment.

Root canal procedures are sometimes complex. Several tiny branches come off of the main canal, making it easy for infected tissue to remain in the branches. This can cause re-infection and prevent healing. In an apicoectomy the root tip is removed along with the infected tissue. Then, a filling is put in place to seal the end of the root.

An apicoectomy is sometimes referred to an endodontic microsurgery because it is often performed with an operating microscope.

What are the Risks?

Your oral surgeon will review the risks of your apicoectomy procedure during your first visit. But the main risk of an apicoectomy is that surgery may not work and the tooth may need to be extracted.

Depending on the location of the tooth, there may be other risks. If the tooth is in the back of your upper jaw, the infection may involve your sinuses. Your oral surgeon may prescribe antibiotics and decongestants to help with this.

The roots of the back teeth in the lower jaw are close to a few major nerves. Surgery on one of these teeth carries the slight risk of nerve damage. Your oral surgeon will use the x-rays he or she took prior to your procedure to see how close the roots are to the nerves. The chance of nerve damage is unlikely in most cases.

An apicoectomy is considered a permanent solution and should last the lifetime of the tooth.

Contact a Wilmington Maxillofacial Surgeon Today!

If you’re having pain or swelling from a tooth that has had root canal treatment, then call Dr. Hasson at Wilmington Oral Surgery or make an appointment by contacting us at 910-793-0440 today! 
Dental and Soft Tissue Surgery
October 23, 2014

A number of dental procedures require surgery of the soft tissues of the mouth. Soft tissue surgeries improve tooth function, oral health and appearance.

Read on to find out more about the various kinds of soft tissue surgery and how they could possibly help you.

Tooth Extractions

There are a number of reasons as to why you may need a tooth extraction such as injury or infection. Whatever the reason, your dentist will most likely refer you to an oral surgeon who will remove the problem tooth in an in-office procedure using an anesthetic that is best for you and your situation.


Although most root canal surgeries go smoothly, sometimes a root canal alone is not sufficient. If the infection spreads beyond the tooth root and into the surrounding bone, your dentist should refer you to an oral surgeon for an apicoectomy.

During an apicoectomy, the infected portion of the tooth root is removed in order to clean the infection from the surrounding bone and tooth. The root is then filled to prevent further infections from forming.

Impacted Teeth

Usually wisdom teeth become impacted, but it is not uncommon for other molars to do the same. Fortunately, an oral surgeon can bring an impacted tooth through the gum, and correct the problem—giving you a healthy and beautiful smile.


“Frena” are small folds of tissue located inside the mouth. They can be found inside the upper and lower lip, under the tongue and in the area that connects the cheeks to the gums.

A frenectomy (also known as a frenulotomy, frenulectomy, or frenotomy) is a simple in-office procedure that removes the frena in the mouth. The two most common frena that need to be removed due to obstruction normal function in the mouth are called the lingual frenum and the labial frenum.

Other Soft Tissue Surgeries
Other soft tissue surgeries include soft tissue grafts, temporary anchorage devices (TADS), gingivectomy (gum removal) and gingivoplasty (gum trimming) and crown lengthening procedures.

If you’re in need of a soft tissue surgery, Wilmington Oral Surgery can help. To schedule a consultation, call Dr. Hasson at Wilmington Oral Surgery or make an appointment by contacting us at 910-793-0440 today!