What Degree Does an Endodontist Need to Have?

Learn about the educational requirements for becoming a board certified endodontist. Find out what degree you need and what type of training is required.

What Degree Does an Endodontist Need to Have?

To become an endodontist, a dentist must attend a two-year specialized program to obtain an endodontic certificate or a three-year program to earn a master's degree in endodontics. After completing a bachelor's degree, the future endodontist will then attend dental school and become a licensed Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Following this, they must enter an endodontic residency program to gain clinical experience in procedures such as working with microscopes, diagnosing and treating gum disease, and performing emergency and root canal treatments. In order to become board certified, the endodontist must pass the board certification exam.

This exam is supervised and administered by board certified endodontists who have met the eligibility requirements established by the American Association of Endodontists. After becoming board certified, there are several career path options to explore. Endodontists are specialists because they have completed two or more additional years of training beyond dental school. This advanced training includes studying in an endodontic residency program, where they learn how to specialize in endodontic procedures.

Endodontists are also trained to properly identify problem areas, as it is often difficult to determine the exact source of dental pain and abscess. Endodontists focus exclusively on endodontic treatments, while dentists provide general, non-specialized dental care such as filling cavities, placing crowns and bridges, and evaluating the overall health of the patient's teeth and gums. Endodontists are also rapidly playing an important role in the overall treatment of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes. Most states require endodontists to perform additional examinations to obtain licensing in their specialties.

After accumulating in-office experience, an endodontist may choose to open their own specialized office that offers endodontic treatments through referrals from a network of standard orthodontists and associated dentists. By limiting their practice to endodontics, endodontists focus exclusively on dental pulp treatments.

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