If root canal retreatment isn’t an option after the failure of a previous root canal, then your endodontist may recommend apicoectomy. Also known as root resection or a root-end filling, apicoectomy is a form of endodontic surgery that involves surgically removing the tip of the root to clean away bacteria and infected material. Apicoectomy is often the best way to avoid having to extract a tooth in which root canal treatment has failed.

Though apicoectomy is an oral surgery procedure, it is minor enough that many patients consider it easier to recover from than complete root canal treatment. It’s also a significantly more conservative option than extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant and crown.