What is an Endodontist?

All dentists are trained in endodontic treatments. However, some teeth can be particularly difficult to diagnose and treat. In these types of cases, dentists will often refer their patients to endodontic specialists.

Endodontists have undertaken additional dental training to specialize in root canal treatments and in procedures involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.

What does an Endodontist do?

Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth and are committed to helping their patients maintain the health of their teeth for a lifetime.

Just as there are physicians who specialize in specific medical fields, endodontists are dentists that specialize in diagnosing tooth pain and in performing root canal treatments and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth.

An endodontist working on a patient's teeth.

If a patient has a tooth that is more difficult to treat because of its anatomy or location, a general dentist may not be up for the challenge and may refer root canal treatments and complex cases to an endodontist.

These types of cases typically require an extensive amount of time or additional equipment to complete and it is more convenient and more comfortable for the patient to have a specialist complete the work.

Along with performing root canal treatments, an endodontist is a specialist in diagnosing and treating oral pain. Toothaches or fractured teeth can often be difficult to pinpoint and are very painful. The pain of a damaged or diseased tooth often is felt in another tooth or in the head, neck, or ear because of the vast network of nerves in the mouth.

Endodontic treatments and procedures include:

  • Root canal treatment - necessary when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth
  • Endodontic retreatment - when a tooth heals improperly after a root canal and becomes painful or diseased; retreating the area a second time may save the tooth
  • Endodontic surgery - such as an apicoectomy, needed when inflammation or infection persists after a root canal procedure
  • Traumatic dental injury treatments - when patients have cracked or injured teeth caused by accidents or sports injuries; also includes replanting teeth that have been knocked out of their sockets
  • Apexification - a treatment that stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root which makes it possible to then save the tooth through a root canal procedure

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What is the workplace of an Endodontist like?

Endodontists typically work out of their own office, however, some general dentists bring an edodontist into their own private practice for their patients.

The environment tends to be a typical clinical environment — clean and sterile and working with the same professionals every day. The variation will be in the patients and interaction with different people every day.

Endodontists are also known as:
Root Canal Specialist