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In some cases, root canal therapy may fail to resolve a dental infection. Apicoectomy is a conservative retreatment that removes the tip of the root canal along with the infected tissue.

How an apicoectomy can help if root canal treatment didn't 

  • Conservative Treatment—unlike surgeries which completely remove one or more roots, apicoectomy only removes a portion of the root tip. Preserving the most dental tissue possible is always preferable.
  • More Accurate Treatment—root canals are notoriously complex systems. During the initial treatment, it can be difficult to remove infected tissue from tiny branches of the root tip (apex). Directly accessing the area can be more effective.
  • Maintains Restorations—repeating root canal treatment can weaken a dental filling or dental crown. Apicoectomy leaves restorations completely undisturbed.

Is treatment expensive?

Apicoectomy typically costs between $900-$1,300 without insurance and $100-$500 out-of-pocket under a typical dental plan. Your dentist might determine that the only alternative is extraction, which can cost $75 to $200. After extraction, you will need to replace the missing tooth. A single dental implant ranges from $1,600-$2,200, not including the dental crown. Traditional bridges cost between $500-$1,200 per artificial tooth, but this solution will require alteration of healthy teeth and cannot stop the bone atrophy that follows tooth loss.

But is it really effective?

As a relaiable alternative to recurring treatment modern apicoectomy has a 94% success rate according to the Journal of Endodontics.

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What to expect during the procedure

  • Your endodontist will first numb the treatment area. You might also receive medication to help you relax.
  • The doctor will then make a small incision in the gums near the tooth.
  • Infected tissue will be removed, including the very end of the root.
  • The doctor will place a small dental filling at the end of the root. This seals the canal and prevents reinfection.
  • To complete the procedure, the dentist will use a small number of sutures to close the gum tissue.
John F. Rink DDS, AAACD

Some patients may need a second root canal treatment instead. In other cases, extracting the tooth is the best option. Other types of endodontic surgery, such as root amputation, could also be recommended.

If root canal therapy has failed to restore your oral health, apicoectomy might be a viable alternative to extraction. Contact a doctor today to learn more about the best way to protect your smile.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update

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To Our Wonderful Family of Patients:

Last night, my wife Connie and I enjoyed the most delicious take-out dinner from FIG restaurant. As always, the food was excellent; however, it was most satisfying to see the local restaurant, along with others, begin its comeback. Our resilient city feels like it is coming back to life—parks are opening and folks and families are enjoying the wonderful spring Charleston air. The Rink dental team is, too, readying itself for the next chapter of practicing dentistry as the community begins reopening its doors.

We are concentrating on continuing to advance our rock-solid foundation of state-of-the-art infection control. We were blessed to keep our dedicated and passionate team employed during the crisis, and have devoted the entire month of April to research, systematically developing, purchasing and installing the best additional infection control protocols and equipment available. We are ready. This month we will begin the process of a “soft opening” of our practice. What this means for our patients is a resumption of the same excellent restorative, esthetic, and preventive care in the safest and most secure environment available anywhere.

Additional safety steps will include asking our patients to wait for their appointments in their cars rather than in the reception area. We will ask that you take a moment to fill out a short questionnaire upon your arrival regarding your health and recent travels. We will take everyone’s temperature (including the team) with a forehead scanner as you enter the practice. We will clean and disinfect all touchpoints in the office in between each patient. We have procured the highest quality KN95 masks and face shields for the staff and have carefully researched and purchased the most advanced aerosol containment and purification systems available for the safety of all our patients. These are a few examples of how we have added additional layers of protection for your and our staff’s benefit.

Finally, I wholly understand that each one of you is an individual with specific desires, needs, and comfort levels. I want you to know that we are here to actively listen to you and to create the best environment for your emotional health. Some will be ready sooner than others to receive care again at our office. Let’s keep the lines of communication open and please know that our relationship with you and your family is our highest priority.

We look forward to reuniting with everyone but until that time it is our wish that you enjoy good health, good spirits, and peace.

To your optimal dental health,

- John F. Rink, DDS, AAACD and team

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