When it comes to tooth pain and cavities, endodontists are the go-to specialists. Endodontists have completed two or more years of additional training beyond dental school, focusing on diagnosing tooth pain and treating the root canal and other procedures related to the inside of the tooth. General dentists can repair mild or moderate cavities by cleaning the affected tooth and sealing it with a filling. However, for larger cavities, a filling is not enough to protect the tooth, so they will refer the person to an endodontist.
Endodontists have the knowledge and training to perform root canal treatment, which can save a tooth from extraction. Seeing both a general dentist and an endodontist can benefit you in keeping your mouth healthy. Dentists often identify problems that can send you to an endodontist if you show symptoms of dental infection or severe tooth decay in the pulp or root of your tooth. All dentists are trained to treat and diagnose diseases of the pulp, but some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat.
For example, certain general dentists will perform their own root canals in anterior or bicuspid teeth because these teeth are easier to access and have only one or two roots. However, with a molar tooth, they are located far back in the patient's mouth, giving the dentist limited access and having 3 to 4 channels. This is why some patients are referred to the endodontist. In general, an endodontist has performed far more root canal treatments than a general dentist and may have access to better or more specialized tools and technology than a general dentist.
While general dentists can and do provide root canal therapy, many people prefer to visit endodontists because they have more training and experience. Often, a general dentist will refer you to an endodontist if a condition presents particular challenges (such as confusing dental pain or a tooth with a complex anatomy) and believes that seeing a specialist would benefit you. Those who don't usually perform root canals will refer their patients to an endodontist for treatment. For example, your endodontist may focus on saving your tooth while a general dentist cares about your brushing and flossing habits.
An endodontist is a dentist who has advanced training in diagnosing and treating problems related to the soft tissue inside the tooth. If you have dental pain or root canal problems, you don't need to wait for a referral to an endodontist.If your dentist has ever referred you to a specialist for certain dental procedures (usually an oral surgeon or endodontist), this is because your dentist cares about the quality of the work you do and wants you to receive the best possible treatment with the best possible prognosis and success rate. Your general dentist will most likely refer you to an endodontist if they think you need a dental specialist for treatment or further evaluation. Your dentist wants you to receive the best treatment, so you often work with an endodontist you know and trust.According to the American Association of Endodontists, the average general dentist will only perform about two endodontists per week, while the average endodontist performs 25.Ideally, your dentist and endodontist will work together to address problematic dental problems and preserve your dental health in the long term.Endodontists work hand-in-hand with general dentists to ensure that the root canal procedure goes smoothly, that the affected tooth is saved, and that it heals quickly after the procedure is completed.
Like endodontists, they practice a certain area of dental care and can receive referrals from general dentists.