Endodontists can be classified as dentists but doing so with dentists would not be appropriate. Endodontists specialize in diagnosing tooth pain and root canal treatment along with any other procedures related to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, endodontics can save a diseased tooth with proper treatment. Endodontists take pride in referring to themselves as specialists in the field of saving teeth.
This explanation in no way is to indicate that dentists are incapable of diagnosing tooth pain or conducting root canal procedures. They are however focusing on general dentistry because they haven’t completed the additional two years or more of training after completing dental school.
To specialize as endodontists these professionals obtain 2 to 3 years of additional education in an advanced specialty program in endodontics after spending four years in dental school. They focus on understanding the infections affecting the dental pulp and the methods to treat these conditions.
Endodontists are limiting their practice only to endodontics and focusing extensively on the treatment of the dental pulp. They undertake approximately 25 root canal procedures every week in comparison with general dentists who only manage about two. Filling the teeth or cleaning them is not the job of endodontists who dedicate their time to the diagnosis and treatment of tooth pain. They are highly skilled specialists focusing on finding the causes of oral and facial pain that is difficult to diagnose. They are capable of performing a pulpotomy to partially remove a tooth’s pulp as well as root canal procedures for which they have been acknowledged as the experts.
People are generally fearful when referred to an endodontist for root canal therapy. They believe they will be subjected to extreme pain and discomfort by the specialist. Fortunately, endodontists are using specialized techniques to make sure their patients are thoroughly comfortable during any procedure they are required to undergo. They are experts in administering anesthetic medications in patients who generally have a problem with numbness. Besides treating patients comfortably endodontists will ensure relief from the tooth pain is guaranteed after the Root canal procedure when the infection within the pulp or the inflammation heals. Therefore, people have nothing to fear if they are referred to an endodontist for root canal therapy which will relieve them from the pain rather than subject them to additional pain.
Endodontists equip themselves with materials and equipment that have been designed to make treatment of their patients successful and comfortable. A small sheet of plastic or rubber known as a rubber dam will be used by the endodontist to protect the mouth and isolate the tooth during the treatment. They are also using digital radiographs and 3D imaging which allows them to take accurate pictures of tiny tooth anatomy for understanding the root canals better along with any other infection which may also be associated. The space within a root canal is small and needs careful attention from the endodontist to observe the canal and any infection located within. When conducting root canal procedures endodontists are using dental operating microscopes to get a better view inside the root canals and to treat them thoroughly.
Dentists often refer patients to endodontists because they are the specialists for treating any conditions within the tooth such as infections to the pulp which may require partial removal in the form of a pulpotomy. Dentists have not received additional education and training to handle these procedures. In any case, the patient after completing the root canal procedure returns to the dentist again for restorations which will become essential because of the fragility of the tooth. Endodontists do not perform procedures like placing crowns, implants or bridges which dentists are experts in. Both professionals are following a principled stand and allowing each other to conduct procedures they have specialized in for the best interests of the patient.
Dentists are better at general dentistry that is required by people more often than specialized dentistry offered by endodontists who can also offer the same treatments but prefer not to because they have specialized in the treatment of conditions inside the tooth.