Root canal treatment is performed on teeth where the nerve in the tooth becomes infected. The tooth may be painful and an abscess can develop in the bone around the root. Most teeth heal after root canal treatment has been done. In some cases however, an abscess develops around the root tip, even after root canal treatment. This usually occurs when all the infected bacteria could not be removed from within the root, or when the initial infection was severe.Surgery is usually required at this point to remove the bacteria around the root tip. An opening is created through the gum tissue and bone, and the abscess is cleaned out. The tip of the root is cut off, to ensure that the bacteria and any infected tissue is removed.
The tip of the root is then sealed with a small filling, and the opening in the gum is closed. If all the bacteria was removed successfully, the bone eventually fills back into the opening. In some cases, the procedure is not successful and the tooth may need to be extracted.