An apicectomy literally means removal of the tip of the tooth root. The root end is then prepared with a special vibrating tip and a filling material placed in the preparation. The most common reason for performing this procedure is due to infection at the end of a tooth after unsuccessful root canal treatment. Although root canal treatments usually work, there can be persistent infection which can cause continued pain (although often not) and evidence of continued infection at the end of the tooth root. In this case it may be appropriate to perform an apicectomy with retrofilling.
The procedure takes about one hour and is performed under local anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. Healing needs to be checked between 3 and 6 months after surgery with an x-ray.