dentist reviewing root canal plan

Should I have a dentist or an endodontist do my root canal?

Dental care is an essential form of health care that sometimes requires more advanced treatments to save damaged teeth. If you’ve been told that you need a root canal or similar procedure, you’ll need to first choose between having a dentist handle it or seeking out a specialist known as an endodontist. There can be many benefits to choosing an endodontist for more advanced cases that need specialty root canal treatment. However, for more basic procedures, a dentist is more than qualified to handle the work and can offer you a number of benefits as well. Make the right decision between a dentist and an endodontist by considering the factors below.

Considering Cost

Depending on the type of root canal you need, a dentist will offer a less expensive treatment in some cases, but not in all. Choosing an endodontist can save you money in the long run if you’re dealing with a more severe case of damage or infection. The extra training the endodontist has often results in a higher fee per visit, but they may be able to take care of a root canal in a single visit that would take multiple visits to a dentist. Discuss your dental health needs with both a dentist and endodontist to understand how the costs between the two might differ.

Dealing with Secondary Issues

Some root canals are more simple procedures that have few secondary issues. These cases of dental damage likely only need the attention of the dentist. Root canals with secondary issues are more likely to benefit from the attention of an endodontist. Some of these issues could be:

  • A previous root canal attempt that failed
  • Additional damage to the tooth in need of a root canal, such as cracking or instability
  • Discoloration from extended infections
  • Infection that doesn’t want to respond to antibiotics and other standard treatments.

Your dentist can work with you to determine if a referral is a good idea for your particular needs.

Accessing Advanced Training and Equipment

One reason that you might want to choose an endodontist over a dentist for root canals with extra treatments needed is because of the advanced training these medical professionals receive. While dentists spend six to eight years in training, endodontists typically have another two or more years of training specifically in root canals and related procedures. If you need specialty equipment to increase your chances of success with a more advanced decay situation, going to an endodontist could be the better choice. However, the majority of root canals don’t necessarily require this level of training and equipment to go smoothly.

Choosing a Familiar Environment

One good reason to choose your local dentist for your root canal treatment is the familiarity factor. Having the work done in the office you visit regularly for cleanings and other services can make you feel much more comfortable during the entire procedure. This is especially true if you have dental anxiety or go to a dentist that already knows exactly how to put you at ease. Most anesthesia and sedation options are available at your dentist as well as the endodontist, ensuring you don’t experience any pain no matter where you choose to go.

Building a Larger Treatment Plan

If your root canal is just one part of a much larger dental treatment plan, you may want to stick with your dentist for this treatment as well. Having one medical professional handling all or most of your dental care ensures continuity during treatment and prevents any missed details. Of course, your dentist can also forward records to any specialists you absolutely must visit. But letting the same dentist handle as much of your care as possible can result in a better total package of care.

Following Up with Regular Visits

Even in a simple root canal treatment, you may need to visit the dentist’s office more than once to complete the process. Most root canals start with temporary crowns that are replaced later, necessitating at least one visit to the office. If there are any issues after the root canal, multiple visits may be required to fix them. If your dentist’s office is closer to your home and more convenient to visit than an endodontist, you may want to choose them for that reason alone. At the very least, talk to your dentist about the potential of having your root canal checked at your dentist’s office even if you had the work done by an endodontist.

Find the support you need to make this choice correctly here at Camelot Dental Group. We can help you with skilled root canal services or a referral to an endodontist when it’s necessary. Tackle your tooth pain and infection issues without further delay by scheduling an appointment with our team.

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