Occasionally an infection can develop or persist after root canal therapy. If this occurs, revision (retreatment) of the root canal may be required. If revision therapy is not successful in eradicating the infection, it may be necessary to perform root canal surgery to remove the infected root tip(s) or apex and the surrounding tissue. This procedure is known as apical micro-surgery or an apicoectomy.

Prior to the procedure, Dr. Harris will perform a thorough examination, diagnose and discuss the issue with you, and obtain verbal and written consent. On the day of surgery, Dr. Harris will administer local anesthetic and make an incision to gain access to the infected area. Using a ceiling-mounted surgical microscope with fiber-optic lighting, he will clean the area, remove the infected portion and seal the tooth. After receiving sutures, you can apply an icepack for comfort.

Dr. Harris will provide medication to alleviate any discomfort, and he will advise you to return home for the rest of the day. Most patients experience minor swelling, occasional bruising and transient numbness. Two to three days after treatment, you will return to the office for suture removal. After this follow up appointment, Dr. Harris and his team will follow your recovery carefully, until healing is complete.

For more information on conventional endodontic procedures, please visit the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) website.