If you’ve recently been informed that you’re going to need root canal therapy, you might be wondering what your options are for receiving the treatment. Your dentist might be able to perform the procedure in their own office, or they might refer you to an endodontist—but how do these two specialists differ and what should be considered when deciding what’s best for your smile? Keep reading to learn more.
How Do Dentists and Endodontists Differ?
Simply put, all endodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are endodontists—in fact, just under three percent of all dentists have undergone the specialized training required to qualify as an endodontist. This additional instruction focuses on diagnosing tooth pain as well as root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of a tooth. In most cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic therapy, which has earned endodontists the moniker “specialists in saving teeth.”
What Factors Should I Consider When Deciding Between a Dentist or Endodontist?
If you’re in need of a root canal, you can rest assured that both dentists and endodontists can usually provide care. That said, you should still consider the following factors when planning out your treatment:
- Training & Experience – Dentists learn how to complete root canal therapy during their schooling, but endodontists complete an additional 2+ years of training, making them uniquely qualified for this treatment option. It’s also worth mentioning that on average, endodontists perform many more root canals than general dentists.
- Availability – Most endodontists also offer tremendous flexibility when accommodating emergency cases, so delays are often kept to a minimum and treatment is administered promptly.
- Pain Management – Part of the specialty training that endodontists receive is focused purely on pain management; they are experts in administering numbing medications, especially in patients who experience issues with getting and staying numb.
- Advanced Technology – By its nature, root canal therapy requires a level of precision that can be greatly aided with advanced dental technology. State-of-the-art technology and equipment are always going to be a deciding factor with any type of procedure; endodontists typically have the best tools at their disposal to carry out root canal therapy.
Root canal therapy has an unfair reputation; patients often dread it, even though it’s relatively painless and straightforward thanks to the efforts made by general dentists and endodontists everywhere.
About the Practice
Our team here at Worcester Endodontics is thrilled to serve the needs of patients and families in the Worcester, MA area! Our practice is fortunate to house two incredibly skilled specialists: Dr. Karyn Stern and Dr. Niusha Nikkholgh. They combine their several years of experience to provide an exceptional level of care that’s certain to have your smile in the best shape imaginable! If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, please contact us online or give us a call at (508) 791-7435.