An Introduction to Endodontics

Have you ever heard of endodontics or an endodontist? The world of dentistry has many different categories of care, such as pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, and orthodontics. The field of endodontics is another branch of dentistry dedicated to a specific type of dental care.

Let’s take a look at what endodontics is, what endodontists do, and how endodontists differ from general dentists.

What is endodontic care?

The field of endodontics focuses entirely on treating the inside of the tooth, including the pulp and other tissues within the roots. A dentist who specializes in endodontics is an endodontist.

Most endodontists strictly provide endodontic treatment, similar to how a dedicated orthodontist may strictly provide orthodontic treatment. However, general dentists can certainly provide an excellent level of endodontic care.

Which procedures does an endodontist perform?

Endodontists are experts at treating infection and injuries involving the tooth’s interior. The most common treatment performed by endodontists is root canal therapy.

Root canals are frequently performed tooth-saving procedures used to stop toothaches and save decayed teeth from extraction. Toothaches often stem from a painful abscess at the root’s end. The root canal process involves the removal of all decay and affected tissue from inside the tooth to resolve the infection.

An endodontist can also help repair damage to a tooth caused by an injury and offers surgical endodontic treatment when needed, though it’s far less common than traditional root canals.

How is an endodontist different from a general dentist?

Endodontists and general dentists differ in two main ways: their continuing education and the spectrum of care they provide.

Endodontists are dedicated to providing endodontic care only. Some endodontists may see patients of all ages, while others may only work with adults. There are also pediatric endodontists, who are experts at root canal therapy for kids. Endodontists also receive an additional two to three years of advanced education on endodontic treatment.

In comparison, general dentists provide a much broader service menu for their patients. Most general dentists focus on preventive and restorative care, although a growing number also provide simple orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. All general dentists receive endodontic training in dental school and can provide endodontic care to their patients! In fact, many people who only require a simple root canal are able to see their regular dentists for treatment rather than an endodontist.

Why does a dentist who isn’t an endodontist perform root canals?

General dentists choose to offer endodontic care for a number of reasons. For example, they may have an interest in the field of endodontic care but choose not to pursue it as a specialty.

Root canals are needed in cases of severe tooth decay in which the bacteria enters the tooth and infection forms. As long as the case is straightforward, most dentists are able to take care of the patient in their office and finish treatment with a beautiful, new crown rather than having to refer out to an endodontist.

Can a general dentist safely perform my root canal?

Absolutely! Experienced dentists are very capable of providing endodontic care for patients. The team at Allred Family Dentistry performs successful root canals on a regular basis. You receive the same level of care and precision from one of our dentists as you would from an endodontist.

While we are able to treat most patients in our office, sometimes a referral to an endodontist specialist is necessary. For example, abnormally shaped roots or a particularly difficult tooth may require the expertise of an endodontist to complete.

What is the benefit of a root canal with a general dentist?

The biggest advantage of seeing your dentist for a root canal is the familiarity and comfort that comes with receiving dental care from a provider you already trust. This is especially true for anyone who experiences dental anxiety about receiving a root canal.

Your dentist and the rest of the team know who you are, and vice versa. They’re also already familiar with your oral health history and will keep a close eye on your tooth during future routine checkups and cleanings.

Gentle and Effective Root Canals at Allred Family Dentistry

If you’re already a patient at Allred Family Dentistry, you’ll be excited to know that our dentists can take care of your root canal therapy needs. If you’re currently without a regular dentist or new to the Griffin and Hampton, Georgia, areas, we invite you to check us out. We can alleviate your toothache, perform comfortable root canal therapy, and take care of your future dental care needs.

To schedule a visit today, you can call your preferred Allred Family Dentistry location or request an appointment online.