Why would I need Endodontic Surgery?

Generally, a root canal is all that is needed to save teeth with injured pulp from extraction. Occasionally, this non-surgical procedure will not be sufficient to heal the tooth and your endodontist will recommend surgery.

Endodontic surgery can be used to locate fractures or hidden canals that do not appear on x-rays but still manifest pain in the tooth. Damaged root surfaces or the surrounding bone may also be treated with this procedure. The most common surgery used to save damaged teeth is an apicoectomy or root-end resection.

What is an Apicoectomy?

The video on the right illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent reinfection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.

1. Infected Tissue

3. Suture Placed

2. Tissue Removed

4. Healing Complete

Following the procedure, there may be some discomfort or slight swelling while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended. If you have pain that does not respond to medication, please call our office: Blanco Office Phone Number210-341-8281.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is an apicoectomy?

An apicoectomy is an endodontic surgery performed to heal any infection that occurs or won’t heal after a root canal is performed. Teeth are held in place by roots. Depending on whether a tooth is a front tooth or molar or premolar a tooth will have one or two roots. When the tip of a root where nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth becomes infected, removal of the apex is often needed to completely clear the infection.

How is an apicoectomy performed?

An apicoectomy is performed by making a small incision in your gum, lifting the tissue, and drilling through the bone to gain access to the root. While this sounds invasive, this is commonly referred to as an endodontic microsurgery because it requires such a small incision. This procedure typically takes 30 to 90 minutes. The longer the surgery, the more complicated the tooth structure likely is.

diagram of apicoectomy diagram of apicoectomy diagram of apicoectomy  diagram of apicoectomy

What does an apicoectomy do?

An apicoectomy is used to clear and treat infections that have not been cured through root canal therapy. During this procedure, Dr. Adam Harkrider will use an operating microsurgery to see into the tiny branches that can get infected. He will then remove the infection and seal off the channels so that re-infection does not occur.

When is an apicoectomy performed?

This surgery is often performed by Dr. Harkrider after a root canal has been performed or if the root canal isn’t possible. One common reason an apicoectomy would be performed is when a tooth has a crown. A root canal would require the crown to be cut, whereas an apicoectomy would be less traumatic.

How can I prepare for this surgery?

Prior to the procedure, you’ll come into our office at Harkrider Endodontics for a consultation. During the consultation, Dr. Harkrider will take an x-ray of your tooth and the surrounding bone, review your medical history, and determine the best course of action for your unique needs.


Dr M.K.Pillai,
11197, Canyon Crescent
Delta, British Columbia
Canada Zip Code - V4E2R6


Phone: +1 4373467700
Email: drmkpillai@gmail.com

The office is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, BC Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day



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