Greetings from Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

Drs. John Pinnix and George Betancourt would like to extend our sincerest best wishes to you and your families. We hope that you continue to navigate these most difficult times with strength, perseverance and the promise that we will all soon return to 'business as usual'.

Please note, the purpose of this email is not to go into detail about our office protocols during the current COVID- 19 response. We always have and will continue to maintain the highest level of aseptic and sterilization techniques. Regarding our office hours, we are presently closed as a result of recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association. For patients with upcoming appointments, trust that we will communicate directly with you via phone call to reschedule them as we learn more about our current situation.

For the time being, we want to extend to you, our patients, the helping hand you need during these times for all things dental. While we may be limited in terms of office hours and available services, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt remain available to you via other modalities. For example, we ask that you please find and follow our social media pages, pinnixandbetancourt on Instagram, Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney on Facebook, and @BlakeneySmiles on Twitter. We will use these social media outlets as a means of communication and also a way to provide a Question & Answer forum for general questions anyone may have.

For personal/private needs related to ongoing treatment or your dental health, we will be available to schedule a virtual consultation. This may be accomplished via FaceTime, Zoom meeting or other platform whereby we may have a face to face encounter. These will be available to you, our patient, as a courtesy.

These are unprecedented times for us all. We strive to be on the front edge of the capabilities and service we provide our patients. Much of that depends on our availability and communication. We are here and we will, across any medium possible, provide the guidance you need during these difficult times. We ask that you please reach out to us either via email to the office (, one of our social media platforms, or our phone line from which you can leave a message. We will make every effort possible to get back to you in a timely manner.

From Drs. Pinnix, Betancourt and our entire staff at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we hope you and your families manage the COVID-19 pandemic with an abundance of care, caution and respect for the well being of our community.


Drs. John M. Pinnix, George A. Betancourt and the staff of Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

How an Apicoectomy Can Repair a Tooth after Root Canal Failure

By Dr. Pinnix on April 04, 2018

Digital illustration depicting cross section of infected toothIn most cases, root canal therapy can successfully repair an infected tooth and save it from extraction. But what happens if the tooth becomes re-infected after the treatment? In many cases, an apicoectomy can repair the damaged root and eliminate the bacteria that cause infection. At our Charlotte, NC dental practice, our doctors provide this treatment when and if it is necessary. 

What Is an Apicoectomy?

A type of endodontic surgery, an apicoectomy, or a root end resection, involves removing the very tip of an infected tooth root. This eradicates the source of infection and prevents bacteria from spreading to adjacent teeth. An apicoectomy is significantly different from a root amputation. In the latter procedure, the entire tooth root is removed. 

When Should an Apicoectomy Be Considered?

Generally speaking, an apicoectomy is recommended if a root canal treated tooth becomes infected again. If there is evidence that necrotic tissue has been left behind, root canal therapy is often recommended a second time. However, if this is not indicated, your dentist may consider an apicoectomy. 

In all cases, an apicoectomy will only be performed if there is a generally good prognosis as long as treatment is pursued. If the long-term predictability is poor, an extraction may be considered as a last-resort option.

Apicoectomy: The Treatment Process

During your consultation with your doctor, he or she will perform a comprehensive visual assessment and also take x-rays. Diagnostic imaging will help your dentist better understand where the source of infection is located, and how much of your natural tooth will need to be removed to eradicate it.

To begin the procedure, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the tooth and surrounding gums. A small incision will be created in the gum line so the doctor can access the jawbone and the tooth root. 

At this point, a specialized dye will be used to detect any hard-to-see fractures or cracks. If the tooth is beyond repair, it will be removed at this juncture. If the doctor does not see a fracture, he or she will move forward with the apicoectomy. 

To perform this, only the portion of the root that is affected will be removed. Any inflamed tissue that has developed around the tooth root will be removed as well. The remaining portion of the root canal will be cleaned and disinfected, and the end of the root will be sealed. A final x-ray will then be taken before the tissue is repositioned and the incision is closed. 

Apicoectomy: Healing and Recovery

Following the procedure, post-operative instructions will be given to you. These guidelines should be closely followed for a speedy and successful recovery. 

Resting at home for the remainder of the day is recommended if possible, as bleeding and swelling are more likely if activity is not kept to a minimum. During the first 24 hours, apply a cold compress to the external jaw for 20 minutes at a time. To minimize swelling, over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken. 

During the first few days, you will need to avoid brushing the area directly, keeping the site clean with an antibacterial rinse instead. Hard, crunchy foods should also be avoided, as they can irritate the surgical area. As a general rule, post-treatment soreness, swelling, and bruising should diminish within a few days, with full recovery taking place around the second week.

Contact Our Practice Today

If you have a sore or tender tooth that has been previously treated with root canal therapy, talk to your doctor about an apicoectomy. Schedule an appointment at our practice to determine if this type of treatment could be beneficial for you. Call our office at (704) 543-1102 or contact us online anytime.

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Charlotte Office

8918 Blakeney Professional Dr
Ste 100
Charlotte, NC 28277

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm