Surgical Root Canal (Apicoectomy)

Although conventional root canal therapy is approximately 90 percent successful when performed by a general dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist), there are certain instances when this is not possible or not indicated. A surgical root canal can be considered when conventional root canal therapy has failed or cannot be performed.

Surgical root canals are also called apicoectomies by the dental profession. They can also be referred to as surgical endodontic procedures.

There are many indications for surgical root canals, which include:

Inability to eliminate a pathologic process with conventional  root canal therapy. This may include the need to remove cysts, granulation tissue or infection.

Root fractures

Root perforations

Recurrent pain and infections


Pathology that cannot be removed because it is impossible to clean and fill
the root canal from a routine approach. Examples of this include teeth with severe root curvatures, calcified root canals, and teeth that have posts and caps placed.

Correction of a treatment failure or a procedural accident such as broken instruments, incomplete root canal filling or lack of adequate root canal seal.

Unfortunately, not every problem of this nature can be treated with surgical root canal. A consultation visit with Dr. Falcone is necessary to determine what type of treatment is best for you. He will also discuss treatment alternatives such as extraction, dental implants and other modalities to help correct your dental problems when conventional root canal therapy fails.

Root Canal

The surgery itself can take many different forms; however, it usually consists of the following:
  1. Exploration of the root end of the affected tooth and jaw.
  2. Removal of pathologic lesions or infection in the area.
  3. Removal of 2-3 millimeters of the root end of the affected tooth to allow for preparation of the root to seal it to prevent future problems.
  4. Retrograde filling (retroseal) in the prepared root end to seal it.
  5. In most cases bone graft material can be placed to help restore the affected jaw to its original condition.
Dr. Falcone will discuss your surgery in detail at your consultation visit.  He is always happy to answer any questions that you may have.  So if you have a problem requiring an evaluation regarding surgical root canal, do not hesitate to call for an appointment.