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Endodontist vs. Dentist: What is the Difference?

Posted on July 11, 2019

When looking for the right dental expert, it is essential to understand the difference between dental specialists, like an endodontist vs a dentist.

The three primary dental professionals you may encounter include general dentists, periodontists, and endodontists. While all provide dental care, endodontists specialize in root canal treatments while periodontists focus on gum-related issues and implant dentistry.

Learn more about the differences between endodontists versus general dentists versus periodontists, and who you should see for different dental issues.

Who Is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dentist. However, after completing dental school and earning a DDS degree, they receive at least two years of additional training. 

This specialized education gives them additional skills to expertly diagnose any tooth pain one may feel. They also receive expert training in procedures like routine and complex root canal treatments. For example, they can treat teeth with complicated anatomy. A timely performed endodontic treatment may save a tooth that may be at risk of being lost. 

Some of the procedures endodontists typically perform are:

  • Root Canal Treatment, a procedure to treat infection and severe tooth decay
  • Root Canal Retreatment is a treatment needed in an attempt to save a tooth that has a recurrent infection after a root canal procedure
  • Apicoectomy, a procedure to remove the tip of the root that has a progressive infection
  • Fixing traumatic injuries, such as cracked or damaged teeth
  • Performing other procedures to help preserve a patient’s natural teeth, like posts and core build-ups
  • Internal bleaching is a treatment performed by a few endodontists to correct discoloration that happens after root canal therapy. 

Endodontist Vs. Dentist – What You Need to Know

Routine visits to your general dentist are essential to the overall health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist is an excellent resource whenever issues arise with your dental care. 

However, if you are experiencing a problem with the root or pulp of your tooth, you should see a specialist with the training and experience necessary to provide the best level of endodontic care.

Dentists usually receive training in basic endodontic diagnosis and treatment. General dentists can and do perform root canal treatments. However, statistics show that the average general dentist only performs two root canals a week. In comparison, endodontists perform upwards of 25 root canals a week. Because of this extensive practice, many patients prefer treatment with endodontists.

Ideally, your dentist and endodontist will work together to address your dental concerns. 

What is an Endodontist Vs. Periodontist?

Both periodontists and endodontists are dental specialists. 

Like endodontists, periodontists pursue additional specialty training. However, their focus is to provide patients with treatments to support the health of gums and bone. They treat gum inflammation, gum disease, and perform implant dentistry. Periodontists work with patients to stop gum-related issues from progressing by providing such treatments as deep cleaning, gum surgery, gum grafts. Many periodontists may specialize in tooth extraction, bone grafts, and dental implants.

Both endodontists and periodontists only perform treatments in their area of expertise. This exclusivity allows them to excel in their chosen field. While general dentists can perform many of these treatments, seeing a specialist like an endodontist or periodontist tends to provide a higher success rate.

Should I Go to a Dentist or an Endodontist for a Root Canal?

Unlike general dentists, endodontists do not clean teeth or perform standard dental procedures like placing fillings. Instead, they dedicate their time to the diagnosis and treatment of tooth pain.

There are many advantages to choosing an endodontist versus a general dentist if a patient needs endodontic treatment:

  • Advanced education in studying diseases of the dental pulp 
  • Expert level of performing endodontic procedures
  • Valuable techniques to ensure patients are comfortable throughout treatment
  • Advanced technology, like operating a microscope, designed to enhance results and streamline each procedure
  • Statistically, root canal therapy performed by a general dentist have a higher chance of failure

So, if you are experiencing tooth pain or require a root canal, an endodontist is the best choice compared to a general dentist.

Find Out More About Endodontic Care at Midtown Endodontist NYC

For the highest quality endodontic care in the tri-state area, we invite you to visit the compassionate team at Midtown Endodontist NYC. Our knowledgeable, highly trained staff has the experience you need, combined with genuine concern for your dental health. We specialize in root canal treatments, as well as relieving any tooth pain you may be experiencing.

Book your free consultation at Midtown Endodontist NYC to learn how our experienced dental team can help you.

About Dr. Steven Lipner

Dr. Steven Lipner is an experienced Root Canal Specialist in NYC providing his patients with exceptional care. You can see Dr. Lipner at his Midtown East Manhattan practice, LipnerEndo, where he employs the benefits of latest dental technology, from Digital X-rays to High-Powered Microscope to achieve the best results & maximum precision.

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