An Apicoectomy is the procedure used to stop the spreading of infection which sometimes arises after root canal treatment. If the infection gets into the tip of a tooth's roots an abscess may form. This is an inflamed area in the tooth or gum brought on by a collection of pus due to a build up of bacteria and can be extremely painful and damaging to the surrounding bone and tissue.
The procedure is a minor surgical one, done after a local anaesthetic has been given to numb the area, thus making the patient as comfortable as possible. The root tip or "apex" of the tooth needs to be removed to solve the problem, this is done by first cutting through a small section of the gum in order to get as close to the tip as possible.
The next step is to take out any infected tissue or damaged root and clean the area thoroughly. The tip is then sealed with a filling agent in order to protect it from any harmful bacteria.The gum layer is put back in place with stitches and the area begins to heal. The extra space left around the root tip where the infection had formed is taken up by bone tissue and the health of your tooth will soon be restored.