If you have recently had a root canal and the tooth suffers from a secondary infection, you will probably have to undergo a treatment called an apicoectomy. Below is a guide to the procedure and how best to recover from it.

The procedure 

During an apicoectomy, your dentist will remove the tip of the infected root within the tooth and any infected soft gum tissue. To do this, the dentist makes a small incision along your gum line rather than drilling into the tooth. Once the infected tissue has been removed, your dentist will insert a small filling to seal the root of the tooth. They will then stitch the incision back together. Because the treatment involves making incisions into the gum, the recovery time can be longer when compared to a standard root canal treatment. The recovery time can also be extended by the fact that existing scar tissue may be present from the initial root canal treatment.


Your dentist will prescribe pain medication to help you to cope with any post-procedural pain. They may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory to help reduce any swelling of the gum tissue and an oral antibiotic which will help to prevent infection.

There are actions you can take in order to speed up your recovery. For example, if you experience swelling after your apicoectomy, you should place a bag of frozen veg or a cold pack, both of which need to be wrapped in a soft towel, and rest it on the side of your face closest to the affected tooth. This will help to numb any discomfort while also helping to reduce the swelling.

In the days after the procedure, you should avoid foods which may aggravate your gum. You shouldn't eat foods which are crunchy or hard such as hard-skinned fruits or nuts. You should also invest in a toothbrush with soft bristles and take extra care when brushing the treatment site.

If you find flossing uncomfortable in the days after the procedure, you should consider investing in an interdental brush. An interdental brush will cause less friction when it comes into contact with your swollen gums and will not disturb the wound as it scabs over and heals.

If you have any questions or concerns about a root canal or undergoing an apicoectomy, contact your dentist today. They will be able to assess the condition of your oral health and recommend suitable treatments.