Your dentist helps keep your mouth clean. With a regular visit, you can prevent various tooth- and gum-related concerns. What happens when there’s an issue that requires a little more expertise, though? An endodontist serves as a specialized dentist who works on specific problems. You may need to see one for a few distinct reasons.
Here’s when you should see an endodontist rather than a dentist.
The Difference Between Each Profession
There are several differences between endodontists and dentists. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand more about each position.
Not All Dentists Work as Endodontists
It’s important to note that all endodontists work as dentists. That said, it’s hard to locate a dentist who’s also an endodontist. That’s because less than 5,000 currently operate throughout America. The same categorization applies to special positions within dentistry, like oral surgeons or radiologists. The medical field offers multiple paths for people to choose from.
Your dentist may be able to perform some endodontic-related tasks. That said, they won’t share an expertise level. All endodontists are technically dentists — but you should expect both professions to have their own personal strengths.
Endodontics Requires Special Abilities
Think about how physicians have specific interests. Some work as pediatricians, while others become anesthesiologists. A similar process happens for anyone who attends dental school. You can choose to focus your career on a certain ability. A typical dental school residency lasts for four years, while those who want to concentrate on a specific topic like endodontic studies pursue further education.
These extra classes could take at least two additional years to complete. Afterward, students can work both as dentists and specialists. As a result, they can employ specialized skills to tackle certain problems for their patients. Therefore, you can’t expect your dentist to perform endodontist-specific tasks. You likely wouldn’t see a psychiatrist for a heart condition.
What Issues Can an Endodontist Address?
An endodontist works with concerns related to your dental pulp so you can enjoy a healthy mouth. They typically see patients who experience tooth pain, and visiting an endodontist often involves a root canal treatment. You may also see one if you have a tooth injury. Any issue that causes you pain would be a reason to consult an endodontist. They can use specific knowledge to address your concern.
While dentists often perform these procedures, it’s customary for endodontists to treat patients when dental pulp issues happen. That’s because they’re trained more extensively. Their work often saves teeth that would otherwise become severely damaged. A dentist can keep your mouth clean while an endodontist addresses any specific concerns that require more expertise.
Endodontics vs. Periodontics
It’s often a bit tricky to distinguish between endodontics and periodontics. The latter also deals with gum health, so it’s best to learn how they differ.
A periodontist works to treat various gum diseases. You may experience gingivitis, inflammation or another concern that doesn’t derive from your dental pulp. That’s when a periodontist could perform procedures like gum grafts to heal your mouth. A central pain or ache that stems from one tooth rarely means you have other gum issues. Instead, you likely have a problem with your dental pulp.
Make sure to alert your dentist to your problem so they can help you choose a proper specialist. You don’t want to waste time or money on a visit to a doctor who can’t fix your issue. Your dentist can guide you to make a smart decision for your oral health.
When You Should Visit an Endodontist
An endodontist can help you figure out a reason behind that pesky toothache once and for all. If you notice any sensitivity, pain or injuries, it’s time to schedule an endodontist appointment. Your dentist shouldwork alongside your endodontist so everyone stays updated on your health. Talk with your dentist before you have any procedures done.
It’s essential to note that an endodontist can’t replace your dentist. Only a dentist can perform valuable routine checkups. They clean teeth, fill cavities and diagnose diseases to keep you healthy. Your team for oral health support should involve your general dentist, as well as experts like endodontists, when you need extra assistance. A balance can help you manage your wellness.
An endodontist will be your best bet for tooth pain, root canals and other dental pulp concerns. Otherwise, you can stick with your dentist.
A Specialized Approach Helps You Maintain Balanced Oral Care
Your approach to oral health should resemble how you care for your body. When you break a bone, you heal yourself with physical therapy — not a visit to your regular physician. An endodontist can provide similar specialized assistance when you have specific mouth issues. A visit to an endodontist could save your teeth.