Root Resection- Dentistry

What is root resection?

A root resection, also known as apicoectomy, is a more advanced treatment than the root canal procedure. It may be done when a root canal procedure is not successful. It is a dental procedure where a tooth's root tip is removed and the root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material.

The procedure will first start with the doctor injecting the area with local anesthesia, after which an incision is created at the gum tissues around the affected root to allow your specialist to have access to the infected peri-apical tissues.

This procedure can help your dentist remove infected and damaged tissues in the root area. Also, to prevent the risks of infection, a small filing is inserted at the end of the root canal. Lastly,  to close the gum tissues, sutures will be placed to completely close the incision. After it is completely healed for a week, the bone will be back to its normal function.

Why is a root resection required?

An apicoectomy will be done by your dentist if the root canal becomes infected again after one root canal treatment. But apicoectomy can be avoided by using more advanced dental technology, where another root canal is performed to detect additional infected canals.

Apicoectomy and root resection is completely different from each other. A root resection is removing the entire tooth while apicoectomy is just removing the tip.

Which doctor to consult?

Basic tooth problems like pain or swelling of the gums can be managed by your dentist and he or she will do an exam or X-rays. But if apicoectomy treatment is needed, you will be referred to an endodontist. 

What to expect during the procedure

You specialist will cut and lift the gum from the tooth to have easy access to the area. The infected gum tissue will be removed at the root tip. A dye will help highlight the damage and the cracks of the tooth. If the tooth has fractures, it will be directly be extracted and an apicoectomy will no longer be performed.

About 3 to 4 millimeters of tooth canal will be sealed using ultrasonic instruments.  A surgical microscope will help your dentist have a better view of your tooth canal, so you have a high chance of success. To put the tissue back to its normal place, an Xray will be performed to also check the completed procedure. Suturing will then be done.

Regarding the area of apicoectomies, if the lesion is located in front of the teeth, it will take a shorter time; but if it is located at the back,  the procedure will take long. The whole procedure may take between 30-60 minutes.

Post-operative care

The area will go numb for days and weeks. Stitches will be removed 2 to 7 days after the surgery. Swelling and soreness will be gone after 14 days. Make sure to consult your dentist if these symptoms don’t go away.


Complications like infection and sinuses may occur if you are given surgery at the back and the upper area of the jaw.


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  • Slide show: Root canal treatment. (2019). Retrieved from

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