There are lots
of reasons for undertaking dental procedures. It can be for
maintenance, treatment of disease, or even for cosmetic reasons.
Here we look at procedures involving significant surgery.
Apicoectomy - root end resection
Apicoectomy is defined as the excision of the root tip of a
tooth. It is a surgical procedure that attempts to remove infection
from the affected root tip and the surrounding tissues, which
are usually a result of failed root canal surgery. Apicoectomy
is done where re-treatment has failed or cannot be done, usually
after root canal treatment, and where the tooth has to be retained
rather than extracted. It is considered a minor surgery and is
sometimes called endodontic microsurgery, as the procedure is
performed under an operating microscope.
Tooth transplantation is the transfer of a tooth from one alveolus
to another. Autogenous tooth transplantation, or autotransplantation,
is the surgical transferring of one tooth from one to location
in the mouth to another in the same individual. It is a better
alternative for replacing missing teeth and has achieved high
success rates. Good survival rates were obtained when teeth with
complete and incomplete roots were transplanted.
Bio tooth replacement
Bio-tooth replacement is a more promising alternative to traditional
methods of tooth replacement as it involves re-growing or reconstructing
the tooth in the mouth. However, this procedure is still not
widely accepted as it is still in its development stage. More
research has to be done regarding the best way to make or “grow” these
bio teeth. Four ways have been proposed: reconstruction of mature
tooth as it appears in the mouth, reproduction of the embryonic
development, induce a third dentition and create a tooth-shaped
scaffold, place some cells in them and wait for the cells to
Of these, reproduction of the embryonic development using cultured
cells has shown encouraging results, though bio production is
still a distant possibility.