Infections after a root canal are caused due to problems at the apex of the root, says Colgate Professional. An apicoectomy is done after the discovered infection to save the tooth. A hidden canal in the tooth can also cause an infection after root canal, says Dr. H.C. Leong.
An apicoectomy needs to be performed if an infection develops and persists after a root canal has been performed, says Colgate Professional. During a root canal, the canals are cleaned out, and any infected or inflamed tissues are removed. Root canals are a very complex procedure, as there are many small branches off the main canal. After a root canal is performed, infected tissue and debris can remain inside of the small branches and prevent healing, or possibly cause an infection to develop, says Colgate Professional. When an apicoectomy needs to be performed, the root tip, called the apex, is removed as well as the infected tissue. In order to seal the end of the root, a filling is placed on the tooth.
An apicoectomy is also referred to as endodontic microsurgery because the procedure takes place under an operating microscope in order to ensure the area is repaired, says Colgate Professional.