An endodontist is a specialist in saving teeth. In particular, they are specialists in working with the pulp in your teeth. When you break down the word endodontics, “endo” means inside and “odont” means tooth.
When Should You See an Endodontist?
If you have extreme pain in a tooth or even just sensitivity to hot and cold, you can make an appointment with an endodontist. They can diagnose and treat those issues. In other cases, people see a dentist first, and their dentist refers them to an endodontist.
In particular, if a patient needs a challenging root canal, their dentist may refer them to an endodontist. For example, if a child needs a root canal in a tooth that’s still developing or if an adult has very deep damage in their root that needs a specialist to repair it, an endodontist can be essential.
Are Endodontists and Dentists the Same?
All endodontists are dentists. They complete dental school, and they can do all the same procedures as dentists. However, not all dentists are endodontists. In fact, only about three percent of dentists are endodontists.
What Training Do Endodontists Get?
Endodontists get a bachelor’s degree first. That’s often in a science-related field. Then, as indicated above, they go to dental school. At that point, rather than starting work as a dentist, they do two more years of speciality training, which involves hands on experience working with an experienced endodontist. Finally, they sit before a board for a final exam, and if they pass, they become a board-certified endodontist.
What Treatments Do Endodontists Do?
Endodontists are known for doing root canals, but that’s not all they do. They can also provide the following treatments and more.
- Examine, diagnose, monitor and treat gum disease
- Probe gums to find pocket depth to diagnosis gum disease
- Help patients take steps to prevent gingivitis
- Diagnose, monitor, and treat root-related diseases
- Remove infected tooth pulp and tissues as needed
- Replace infected pulp and tissues with fillings or transplants
- Perform cosmetic dental work
- Replace damaged teeth with artificial teeth including implants
- Restore tooth color
- Work with diabetic patients to monitor their gums for signs of serious health issues
- Help with sleep apnea
- Provide general dental services
What Happens at an Appointment With an Endodontist?
An appointment with an endodontist follows about the same routine as an appointment with a dentist. Generally, the endodontists asks if you’ve been experiencing pain or issues in any particular areas. Then, they do an examination of your mouth. They examine it visually, but they also use start-of the-art technology such as digital imaging and ultrasonic instruments to examine your mouth.
Then, they diagnose any issues and recommend a treatment plan. If your dentist has already diagnosed the issue, the endodontists will look further in it, verify what your dentist said, and help you create a treatment plan. Then, if you need emergency treatment, they may move forward with the treatment right away. Otherwise, they usually create follow up appointments for you to get the work done.
At Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry, we have an endodontist on staff. If you need help, set up an appointment today. We can get you the treatment you need in a safe, comfortable, and professional environment.