We’ve talked about the basics of a root canal and how to stop a tooth ache in previous posts. Another common question I often get is: Do I need to see an endodontist for my root canal?
Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment, can be done by either a general dentist or an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists that specifically treat problems inside your tooth. With more specialty training, endodontists are more than qualified to perform all sorts of procedures, root canal treatment being one of them.
A general dentist may choose to perform simple or routine root canals but some situations require the care of a specialist.
A patient that needs a second root canal on the same tooth after the first root canal failed.
When the first root canal has failed, the procedure becomes more complicated with infection, bone loss, difficult to remove filling materials, etc. Endodontists have been trained to deal with these issues and provide the best treatment and outcomes possible.
A patient with a complicated tooth anatomy that needs treatment from a specialist.
Just like how every person is unique, every tooth is unique! Root canals can join and branch in varying patterns, have long curvy roots, or 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6 roots! All of these differences impact the difficulty of the root canal. Endodontists use a special dental microscope to visualize the root canal better and provide high quality treatment.
A patient that is in severe pain or has a large infection.
Endodontists deal with “hot teeth” and swelling on a daily basis. When a patient is in this acute state, it sometimes takes more advanced techniques to get the patient out of pain fast.
These are just a couple reasons you might be referred to an endodontist but of course there are many more. If you are unsure whether you need to be referred, make sure to check in with your dentist. Your dentist can guide you and make sure you are getting the best care possible.
Blog post by our Endodontist Dr. Rita Hung. Proudly providing great dental care and root canal treatment in Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, and Wildomar.
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