Dental Care

Root canal: Dentist or Endodontist?

Root canal problems can either be treated by a dentist or a root canal specialist. Also called an endodontist, root canal specialists have an edge over the dentists. However, since it is a personal decision, this article will outline the risks and rewards of both medical officers.

Before the advent of endodontists, every dentist challenge was the dentist’s headache. But there are simple reasons why endodontists came to be.

When a tooth breaks, it is either caused by an abscess or a broken tooth. It is only wise to believe that the victim will be in abject pain. But the dentist has a book full of appointments for different issues plaguing the teeth. On the other hand, endodontists are specialists in tooth problems and proffer immediate solutions. Thus, they are more concerned about the immediate elimination of a toothache.

What the dentist will do is to cultivate a good relationship with their endodontist. This means that most emergencies on the dentist’s table will be forwarded to this specialist. In addition, endodontists act as back-up when the dentist is on vacation or leave.

Dentists spend a great deal of time on root canals. As a specialist, the endodontist is skilled in treating root canal problems. In fact, such a specialist is expected to be familiar with all the necessary procedures. This means that lesser time will be spent in the chair if such patients were at the dentists’. Truly, a professional endodontist can complete a molar root canal operation in less than 60 minutes.

Some people’s teeth have a ridiculous configuration. Such examples are when the roots curl haphazardly into neighboring roots. Calcification of canals can also occur. When such abnormalities occur, a certified endodontist knows the right strings to pull. This saves time and reduces the amount of pain that may occur.

Some patients complain that they spend a lot of hours sitting in a chair at the dentist’s. In fact, a high number of such patients end up being referred to the endodontist when time is far spent. This can also occur in the simplest procedures such as the root canal.

Furthermore, a patient may be referred to an endodontist in cases where a simple mistake by the dentist occurs. For example, a dentist may perforate the root accidentally during a root canal. This perforation leads to the outside of the root but can be corrected. Nevertheless, an endodontist may make such mistakes as well but it is common with dentists. Their expertise and experience make them highly suitable to mend the perforation.

In other cases, a patient may have extra canals which are overlooked by the dentist. This can lead to an abscess that requires quick treatment. In addition, there are times when a dentist will treat two out of three canals. By the time the third canal is discovered, calcification must have occurred. This is sincerely painful and an endodontist has to complete the task.

The moment a dentist abandons a root canal, this is legally called a ‘re-treatment’. Due to the extra time allotted coupled with the specialization, retreatments are very expensive. In fact, an endodontist who treats an abandoned tooth must accept legal responsibility for another person’s mistake.

Because of the need for correction, the time allotted to the procedure is seemingly high. A few patients understand this and others flare up for paying a huge amount than the first time. Sometimes, dental insurance does not cover the retreatment procedure.

These are scenarios that are seen at some endodontists’ offices. This does not mean that all dentists are terrible at their job. But the purpose of this article is to show the area of specialization of Endodontists.

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