Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 2075–2082 | Cite as

The resection angle in apical surgery: a CBCT assessment

  • Thomas von ArxEmail author
  • Simone F. M. Janner
  • Simon S. Jensen
  • Michael M. Bornstein
Original Article



The primary objective of the present radiographic study was to analyse the resection angle in apical surgery and its correlation with treatment outcome, type of treated tooth, surgical depth and level of root-end filling.

Materials and methods

In the context of a prospective clinical study, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans were taken before and 1 year after apical surgery to measure the angle of the resection plane relative to the longitudinal axis of the root. Further, the surgical depth (distance from the buccal cortex to the most lingual/palatal point of the resection plane) as well as the level of the root-end filling relative to the most coronal point of the cut root face was determined. Treated teeth were categorized into four groups (maxillary and mandibular anterior and posterior teeth). The final material comprised 62 treated roots in 55 teeth.


The mean calculated resection angle of all roots was 17.7° ± 11.4° (range −9.6° to 43.4°). Anterior maxillary roots presented the highest mean angle (25.8° ± 10.3°) that was significantly different from the mean angle in posterior maxillary roots (10.7° ± 9.4°; p < 0.001) and from the mean angle in posterior mandibular roots (15.1 ± 9.8°; p < 0.05). In roots with a shallow resection angle (≤20°), the rate of healed cases was higher than in roots with an acute resection angle (>20°), however without reaching statistical significance (p = 0.0905). Angles did not correlate either with the surgical depth or with the retrofilling length.


Statistically significant differences were observed comparing resection angles of different tooth groups. However, the angle had no significant effect on treatment outcome.

Clinical relevance

Contrary to common belief, the resection angle in maxillary anterior teeth was greater than in the other teeth. The surgeon is advised to pay attention to the resection angle when bevelling maxillary anterior teeth in apical surgery.


Apical surgery Root-end resection Resection angle Cone beam computed tomography 



The authors thank Janine Kuratli, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Bern, Switzerland, for her assistance regarding the statistical analysis and Bernadette Rawyler, Medical Illustrator, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland, for the schematic illustrations.

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas von Arx
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simone F. M. Janner
    • 1
  • Simon S. Jensen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael M. Bornstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryCopenhagen University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark

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