When you need a root canal, you go to your general dentist, correct? Not exactly.
It depends, but in many cases, the answer is no. You may think your general dentist should be your first call, but what you actually need is an endodontist.
If you go to your general dentist, they will most likely refer you to an endodontist, which is someone who has more experience saving teeth when there is root and pulp damage.
But what exactly is an endodontist and when should you see one?
In this article, we’ll explain what they do, and how they differ from your general dentist.
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the root of your tooth, dental pulp, and tissues surrounding the tooth. Although all dentists receive some training in endodontic procedures, an endodontist receives two or more years of specialized training after dental school.
Your general dentist may be able to perform basic endodontic treatments, such as a basic root canal. However, if you’re suffering from dental issues that require complex endodontic treatment, it’s recommended that you see an endodontist.
Endodontic Treatment and Procedures
If you want to maintain a healthy mouth, it’s important to receive the right treatment from the right specialist. The most common treatment/procedure an endodontist performs is root canal therapy, but they do a lot more than that.
Our endodontist office in Long Island performs the following treatments and procedures:
- Endodontic retreatment when a patient’s root canal fails to heal properly or pain persists.
- Apicoectomy/root canal surgery when root canal therapy alone can’t save the tooth.
- Traumatic dental injuries that result in a chipped, fractured, or knocked-out tooth.
- Diagnose symptoms that may result in an endodontic treatment/procedure.
When is it time to see an endodontist?
In most cases, your tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment, even if the tooth is infected or decayed.
You won’t know whether you need treatment until you see your general dentist, who will refer you to an endodontist, or until you come directly to our endodontist office in Long Island.
Fortunately, there are telltale signs that indicate you’ll need an endodontist. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact an endodontist in Long Island immediately.
- Persistent tooth pain
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or beverages
- Discolored teeth
- Swollen gums, particularly near the painful tooth
- Pain when you apply pressure to the tooth (i.e., brushing your teeth, eating)
- Loosened tooth
- Chipped or cracked tooth
An endodontist in Long Island will be able to diagnose and treat the issue and help you determine the next steps.
Should you choose a general dentist or an endodontist for your root canal treatment?
A common question many patients ask is whether they should see their general dentist or an endodontist to perform a root canal. Your general dentist does have the training, skills, and tools to perform a root canal procedure.
However, you may benefit more by seeing an endodontist, as the procedure will most likely be more successful.
On average, a general dentist will perform approximately two root canal procedures a week. Whereas an endodontist often performs 25 or more. This type of experience is unparalleled.
If you have established a strong relationship with your dentist and feel more comfortable having them perform the procedure, let them know. Your dentist will only do the procedure if s/he feels confident s/he can do it.
In cases where the patient has a complex root canal system, there’s an obstruction in the molar, or other issues arise, your general dentist will refer you to an endodontist in Long Island.
This will ensure a successful treatment, as endodontists also have microscopes, imaging systems, and other tools your general dentist may not have to effectively treat the issue.
Contact Long Island Endodontics
At Long Island Endodontics, our dentists strive to bring you a comfortable, pain-free experience, using the most up-to-date technology available. You will receive the care and attention from board-certified endodontists, so you can feel confident you’ll get the highest standard of service. Our goal is to make sure our patients leave with a smile on their faces. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.