An apicectomy is sometimes carried out to save a tooth where root canal therapy has been unsucessful or difficult. The procedure involves the removal of the infected root tip, or apex, and sealing of the nerve canal by a direct surgical approach, as described for surgical extraction.
By extracting a single infected or heavily-decayed root of a multirooted molar tooth, the remaining tooth structure can be saved and a total extraction prevented. This procedure is termed root resection and is also carried out surgically. The saved tooth can provide support for a crown, bridge or denture which would have been otherwise impossible to hold in place.