When is it time to see an endodontist?
No one enjoys having work done on their teeth and some even delay their bi-annual cleanings out of fear or reluctance to visit the dentist. But when it comes to real tooth pain, it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible. You’ll feel better and likely save your tooth.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, have injured your tooth, it’s sensitive to hot or cold, and/or there is swelling around the teeth, gums or your face, make an appointment with an endodontist or pay a visit to your dentist, first.
Your dentist may refer you to an endodontist – an expert at saving teeth with two or more years of specialized training above and beyond dental school. Endodontists diagnose tooth pain and perform procedures relating to the inside of your teeth.
Why are endodontists called specialists?
While all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment. For this reason, endodontists proudly refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.
What procedures does an endodontist handle?
You may or may not be aware that endodontists perform root canal treatments, and they handle many other endodontic treatments and surgeries, address traumatic dental injuries, and place dental implants. The goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible, however, an endodontist will look at all treatment options to determine the best course of action for your individual case.
An endodontist limits his or her practice solely to endodontic treatments, performing an average of 25 root canal treatments a week whereas a general dentist may only do a few a week. Specialized treatment will give you the best outcome and you’ll heal faster. For this reason, dentists and endodontists often work as partners in care so that the best member of your dental team is handling each appropriate issue with your teeth.
What can I expect during my visit?
Depending upon how severe your pain is, an endodontist may be able to see you on short notice, even on a weekend, as it is common practice to accommodate emergency cases. Your endodontist will use state-of-the-art technologies such as operating microscopes, digital imaging, ultrasonic instrumentation and fiber optics to diagnose and treat you. Come prepared with any questions so that you leave with an understanding of both the condition of your tooth and the prescribed treatment.
Why should my endodontist be a member of AAE?
The American Association of Endodontists is the professional membership association for endodontists, endodontic residents, educators and other dental professionals who have an interest in the specialty. More than 90 percent of U.S. endodontists belong to the AAE, sharing a dedication to the highest standards of excellence in endodontic care. We support our members’ pursuit of excellence through research, education, leadership, advocacy, philanthropy, and service.