Apical surgery is used as an adjunct to root canal treatment.
Root canal treatment is usually undertaken by a Dentist or Endodontist if the pulp (nerve) in the tooth is infected. This infection may spread to cause an abscess beneath the tooth root. Untreated, an abscess will slowly enlarge and ultimately result in a more serious infection. Such an infection will usually require hospitalisation and more extensive surgery
Root canal treatment removes the necrotic pulp tissue but may not allow resolution of the abscess in the bone immediately below the tooth.
Surgery to remove the infection in the bone below the tooth is called apical surgery.
Apical surgery may involve removal of the abscess, part of the infected tooth root and a filling placed in the apex of the tooth root to seal the root in an effort to prevent the infection recurring. The tissue removed from the bone is usually sent to a Pathologist to confirm the type of tissue removed.