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Dentists vs. Endodontists
Most kids and adults have a good understanding of who a dentist is and what they do. But what about an endodontist? What’s the difference between the two specialists? When should you visit an endodontist, and when is a regular dental visit simply not enough? If you’re looking for answers to these questions, we’re here to help.
Understanding the difference
Let’s start by stating that both endodontists and general dentists provide dental care, however, they specialize in different procedures. Dentists are usually responsible for cleaning teeth, filling cavities, and placing sealants. Endodontists, on the other hand, focus on treating toothaches and performing root canals. Depending on your dental needs, a visit to one or both, may be necessary.
One way to think about endodontists and dentists is this: all endodontists are dentists but only about 3% of all dentists practice endodontics.
Here’s a rundown of some similarities and differences between the two professions:
- Both dentists and endodontists graduate from a four-year dental school. Endodontists, however, continue with specialized training for 2 or more years.
- Like how there are lawyers for specific natives such as Chinese-speaking car accident attorneys, dentists are also specific based on treatment. Dentists focus on cleanings and fillings, while endodontists perform root canals and treat teeth injuries.
- In terms of the equipment they use, dentists work primarily with digital X-rays. Endodontists have more machines at their disposal: X-rays, CT scanners and endodontic microscopes. Their goal is to take detailed pictures of your teeth and their roots to diagnose problems and offer solutions. Fun fact: the space inside a root canal is smaller than FDR’s ear on the dime. Imagine the skills it takes to treat it!
To receive proper treatment, assess your dental issues and contact the right professional.
As we’ve mentioned before, endodontists are dentists who receive additional training after graduating from dental school. They perform root canal treatments and retreatments (saving teeth that get infected after initial root canals), as well as treat teeth with complicated anatomy.
What else do endodontists do? They can, among other things, perform:
- An Apicoectomy – a retreatment of a failed root canal. The goal of the procedure is to prevent the progression of infection by removing the tip of the tooth’s root.
- Traumatic Injury Treatments – like fixing teeth that are cracked, chipped or broken.
- Internal bleaching – a procedure that aims to correct discoloration after a root canal treatment.
Although some dentists may perform root canals as well, endodontists have more experience with these procedures.
Who is better?
Which of the two specialists is better for you to visit is a question to which the answer is highly dependent on your dental needs.
Your dentist can often let you know if you should see an endodontist to keep your smile healthy. If that’s the case, chances are that the dentist will refer you to someone who they know and trust. Patients who are more likely to get referred to an endodontist struggle with severe tooth decay (in the root or pulp) and teeth infections.
Both dentists and endodontists are important in keeping your mouth healthy. The services they provide complement each other and accomplish different goals. Dentists may talk to you about keeping your teeth healthy, while endodontists will focus on saving your teeth.
Visiting an endodontist
Very often your regular dentist will refer you to an endodontist for specialized care. However, a referral is not necessary. If you have a pretty good idea of what is wrong with your teeth, you can contact an endodontist right away. They will gather all necessary information and then inform you of the next steps.
When should you go to an endodontist? If you have a cracked or damaged tooth, suffered a traumatic injury that knocked the tooth out, or are in a lot of pain due to severe decay, it may be time to skip the dentist and go directly to an endodontist. They will create a plan to relieve your pain and/or save your teeth.
Endodontist visit cost
Due to their expertise and additional schooling in root canal treatments, endodontists tend to be more expensive than regular dentists. It’s important to remember though, that endodontic treatments produce great results. Bottom line is that getting a root canal is no laughing matter. You want to get it done right the first time. Therefore we strongly suggest considering a visit to an endodontist. After all, they perform about 25 root canal treatments a week, while dentists usually perform around 2. With an endodontist, you can count on:
- Skilled performance and expert advice
- The use of advanced techniques to provide the best possible outcomes
- Various strategies to make you feel more comfortable during the procedure.
Reach Out to Smile in Michigan Today!
Have more questions? Looking for a reputable endodontist or dentist? Reach out to Smile in Michigan today and we’ll help. Our dentist will gladly perform an exam and discuss the best options for you. You’re just a phone call away from taking care of your smile.