How Much Does an Apicoectomy Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

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An apicoectomy, also known as an endodontic microsurgery in the dental world, is a surgical procedure which will remove the root tip of an abscessed tooth, plus any of the infected tissue surrounding the tooth.

Typically done after a root canal has been performed, it is only considered when the root canal failed and the tooth is still infected.

Basically, it’s used as a last resort to save the tooth.

How Much Does an Apicoectomy Cost?
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The average cost of an apicoectomy

The cost of an apicoectomy will depend on your geographical location, the oral surgeon/professional you use, the position of the tooth and if you have dental insurance.  Without any dental insurance, most of the quotes we found online ranged anywhere from as little as $1,100 to more than $1,700 per tooth, but for those with a dental insurance plan, the costs were often inside the $50 to $450 range based on the plan details.

The estimates mentioned above may or may not include the necessary x-rays needed before and after the procedure is performed to confirm both the treatment plan and to ensure the surgical procedure worked according to plan.  Dental x-rays, on average, if not included, may be an additional $100 to $300, depending on the number of x-rays needed.  The same can be said about the crown/filling after the procedure has been performed.  In total, when including everything from the surgeon’s fee to the x-rays and crown, the total costs can exceed $2,000.

According to some of the comments on SteadyHealth.com, they mentioned the costs would depend on which tooth needs work, but one member, in particular, said he paid a total of $2,000 out of pocket since he capped out his dental insurance benefits.  This included the surgeon fees, the procedure, x-rays and the crown.  Another member said they were quoted $1,400 for the entire procedure.

What exactly is an apicoectomy?

As per Colgate.com, the teeth are held in place by its roots which extend into your jawbone.  Your front teeth, usually have one root, while your premolars and molars will have two or more roots.  The tip of the root, known as the apex, allows the nerves and the blood vessels to enter the tooth, eventually traveling through a canal inside of the root, referred to as the pulp chamber, located inside of the crown — the portion you can see with the naked eye.

During a root canal, a procedure where any infected or inflamed tissue is removed, a dentist will clean these canals using special instruments.  In some cases where an infection develops or the infection simply does not go away, then an apicoectomy may be necessary.  In some cases after a root canal, infected tissue can still remain inside of the tiny branches of the main canal, which, unfortunately, cannot prevent an infection from happening in the future.

In most cases, if a root canal was performed in the past and this area becomes infected yet again, then it’s more than likely due to the apex root, and depending on the circumstances, a dentist may recommend a second root canal before considering this procedure.  To determine, dentists, using advanced technology, can often detect which canals were not treated adequately and if you need the apicoectomy.

An apicoectomy will always be performed after the tooth has gone under at least one root canal procedure and other retreatment options have been deemed unsuccessful.

The procedure

Generally, the procedure will be performed by either an endodontist, which is a dentist with more than a few years of additional treatments with the root canal procedure or by a maxillofacial surgeon, which is also considered a dentist but will have at least four years of additional surgical training.

Performed right inside of the dentist office, the procedure is typically done without a strong local anesthetic, but in some cases, a patient, if uncomfortable with any dental procedure, can request an IV sedation or nitrous oxide.

During the procedure, the affected area is numbed and a small portion of the gum is sliced open with a small incision to help expose the hidden bone and root end by lifting the gum away from the tooth and the bone.  Depending on the circumstances, a drill may be required in order to expose the root.

Once the root is exposed, any of the tissue that is infected and the root-end will be removed, about a few millimeters from the root tip, and this space will then be washed out, followed by a filling.  The gums are then re-attached with a handful of stitches.

The surgery is usually performed under a special microscope using an ultrasonic instrument, allowing the dentist to see the area clearly.

The entire procedure, depending on the location of the tooth, can take about 45 to 90 minutes.

Apicoectomy recovery process

After the procedure, many patients note feeling sore or minor discomfort in the affected area.  Typically, ice will be applied for the next 12 hours after the procedure has been performed to help with the swelling.  An OTC anti-inflammatory, such as Motrin, will be recommended as well to help cope with the pain.

Your dentist will ask you to refrain from eating any tough foods for the next week and avoid smoking for the next 48 hours.

While your gums heal, and most patients, as long as the procedure went according to plan, can go back to work the next day.

About seven later after the apicoectomy was performed, the stitches may be removed or in the case of dissolvable ones, they will dissolve as your mouth heals.

The whole healing process can take about seven to 14 days.

Tips to know

The apicoectomy success rates if using contemporary endodontics enjoy a 97% success rate, while nonsurgical or surgical retreatment success rates exceed 90%, according to Inside Dentistry.

All dental plans are not created equally and even if you have coverage, some policies will not cover root end-based surgeries.  Refer to your documentation to see what’s covered before having the procedure done.  Even if you do not have insurance, check out DentalPlans.com to see if you can save hundreds on your next procedure with a local dentist.


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Average Reported Cost: $1500

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  1. Will (fort lauderdale,  Florida) paid $1500 and said:

    It worked

    Was it worth it? Yes

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