Endodontists & Root Canal Treatments
There are many different dental specialists, each one devoted to helping you maintain a healthy smile. Endodontists are specialists in teeth. In specific, they study how to save and maintain tooth structures. This includes performing surgeries such as root canals, and sometimes dental implants as well.
When Is an Endodontist Necessary?
Getting work done on your teeth is never an exciting prospect. Some people are so upset by the experience that they put off their regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups. It may seem scary, but lingering tooth pain is much worse than any dental work could be. Getting your teeth regularly checked can often keep you from needing extensive dental work, in any case.
If you have tooth pain, or have chipped a tooth, or have other obvious signs of tooth distress then you should make an appointment immediately. This includes things such as swelling around the gums and temperature sensitivity.
Your dentist is likely to refer you to an endodontist at that point. When the tooth is injured, that’s when they step up. They help diagnose the pain in your teeth and perform procedures to help save them.
How Is This Different from General Dentistry?
All endodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are endodontists. In point of fact, they only make up 3% of all Doctors of Dentistry. Just like any other field of medicine, dental work is further divided into a variety of specialties. They train to diagnose possible illnesses and injuries that occur specifically in the teeth and perform surgical procedures to repair those problems. They are, in effect, tooth specialists! Though if one is feeling poetic, they might call them Specialists in Saving Teeth.
What Procedures Are Handled?
If you’ve ever needed a root canal, then you’ve seen an endodontist before. Whenever possible, endodontists will attempt to save your natural teeth. However, that’s not always possible. If they can’t save the teeth, then they can at least ensure there’s no further damage to your jaw.
Endodontists tend to perform limited surgeries, so you’re not likely to see one unless needs a root canal. However, dentists with a more general practice may not perform any such surgeries, leaving a larger number to the specialists. This is generally a better idea since specialist training means easier surgery and quicker healing times. That said, a clinic will often have dentists and specialists working in the same facilities. Therefore it’s possible to have all your dental work performed in one building.
What Happens During Visits?
If you have an emergency situation, then you’ll be able to find an endodontist who can do the work. Emergency dental surgery is no joke. Emergency or otherwise, you can expect to have a trained specialist work on your teeth. You can expect up-to-date equipment and surgical techniques, even if they don’t have state of the art technology. Make sure you come prepared with potential questions you may have about home care.
Is It Important for My Endodontist to Be an AAE Member?
While the American Association of Endodontists has no legal authority to bar an endodontist to practice, they are an oversight group with very precise standards. More than 90% of endodontists practicing in the U.S. are members and with good reason. If you can obtain membership then you have proven your ability to provide quality care. So in answer to the question, it’s only important if you want your endodontist to be a good one!