What's the Difference Between an Endodontist and an Oral Surgeon?

Learn about the education, training & treatment methods of these two oral health professionals & how they differ.

What's the Difference Between an Endodontist and an Oral Surgeon?

The main distinction between an oral surgeon and an endodontist is that endodontists specialize in preserving sore or diseased teeth, while oral surgeons collaborate with dentists to provide comprehensive care for complex mouth and face issues. An oral surgeon attends dental school and then receives additional education in his specialty, just like an endodontist. To become an oral surgeon, dentists must complete four to eight years of extra training. Both endodontists and oral surgeons prioritize caring for the gums, teeth, and mouth, similar to general dentists.Unlike traditional dentists, both endodontists and oral surgeons have received specialized training in different areas of the dental field.

Usually, a dentist will refer you to an endodontist or oral surgeon if you have a more complex oral health problem. Like oral surgeons, endodontists are trained as dentists. Therefore, both have the same education as general dentists.This is why both can perform similar operations with a dentist. However, the difference in both specialties starts immediately after dental school.

While an endodontist needs approximately 3 years of training after dental school, an oral surgeon requires at least 6 years of additional training. However, if your circumstance is more complicated, he or she will likely refer you to an endodontist for proper care.In some dental cases, whether you need to work with an endodontist or oral surgeon will depend on how advanced you are in your case. If you want to preserve your teeth, you'll want to see an endodontist because this is their specialty. Endodontists focus on microsurgeries, in which they use surgical microscopes to view the inner canals of teeth.

An endodontist learns how to treat root canals and perform endodontic surgeries during this training.Although these treatments can be performed safely and effectively by general dentists, endodontist services are required if the dental problem is more complicated. As mentioned above, an oral surgeon cannot perform most of the tasks of an endodontist because they differ in many cases. Both endodontists and oral surgeons perform oral surgery, but in different ways and for different purposes.Often referred to as “tooth-saving specialists”, endodontists specialize in saving sore or diseased teeth. Endodontists and oral surgeons focus on different areas, and your dentist will refer you to any of them based on your oral health status.

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