James P. McMenamin, DMD -  - Maxillofacial Surgeon

James P. McMenamin, DMD

Maxillofacial Surgeon & Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon located in Warren, NJ

If you’ve had root canal therapy that wasn’t successful in treating your damaged or infected tooth, you might need an apicoectomy. James McMenamin, DMD, is a highly skilled and gentle oral surgeon who provides high-quality apicoectomies at his state-of-the-art practice in Warren, New Jersey. Book your visit by phone or online request tool and restore your smile today.

Apicoectomy Q & A

What is an apicoectomy?

If you’ve had root canal therapy that didn’t fully restore your damaged or infected tooth, an apicoectomy (root canal surgery) is the next step in trying to rehabilitate your smile.

In an apicoectomy, Dr. McMenamin tries to eliminate the infection in your root canal by removing your tooth’s apex — the tip of its root.

When would I need an apicoectomy?

Dr. McMenamin could suggest an apicoectomy if you have a damaged or infected tooth that hasn’t responded to traditional root canal therapy.

In regular root canal therapy, your dentist, oral surgeon, or endodontist treats the infection in your tooth’s pulp by scraping out the damaged or decayed tissue in your tooth’s root canal using a series of tiny files.

Your tooth’s root canals are complex structures, though, and they can frequently contain smaller branches that radiate from the main root. Your dentist might not be able to scrape out the infection from these minuscule branches, which can leave your tooth susceptible to re-infection.

Dr. McMenamin might also need to perform an apicoectomy if your root canals have calcified — narrowed and hardened.

When Dr. McMenamin removes the tip of your tooth’s root, it gives your tooth another chance at eliminating the infection and becoming healthy again. Apicoectomies are never the first course of action, though. Dr. McMenamin only does them if root canal therapy hasn’t been successful in treating your tooth, and retreatment is either not possible or has also not been successful.

What happens during an apicoectomy?

Dr. McMenamin exposes the root of your tooth by making a small incision in your gum tissue. He then removes your infected tooth pulp and a few millimeters of the tip of your tooth’s root before using a special microscope and instruments to clean and seal the end of your tooth’s canal.

Finally, stitches your gum tissue back in place over your root and sends you home to heal. If root canal therapy has been unsuccessful in restoring your tooth, schedule an apicoectomy with Dr. McMenamin today by calling the office or requesting a visit online.