An apicectomy is an operation where the very end of the root tip is removed. It is usually undertaken when a root filling has failed to satisfactorily seal the root canal. When this occurs, an abscess can form. This may lie dormant for many years and then suddenly flare up resulting in an acute abscess.
To perform an apicectomy, a flap of the gum tissue must be reflected back. Bone overlying the tooth root is then removed to expose the root. The area around the end of the root is cleansed. The very end of the root tip is excised and a small cavity prepared in the root surface. This is then filled with a satisfactory root filling material, usually IRM. The gum is then stitched back into place with dissolving stitches.