Should a regular dentist do a root canal?

All dentists are trained to administer conventional root canal treatment, which involves the use of small hand files to remove infected pulp from the inside of the tooth. By limiting their practice to endodontics, endodontists focus exclusively on dental pulp treatments. They complete an average of 25 root canal treatments per week, while general dentists usually do two. Endodontists don't place fillings or clean teeth, but instead spend their time diagnosing and treating tooth pain.

They are specialists who are experts in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnose. Dentists are also trained to perform root canal treatments, and the good news is that they offer a cheaper service than visiting an endodontist. Therefore, they may be a better option for you if you are worried about money. Usually, a general practitioner will refer a patient to an endodontist for root canal surgery.

However, in select cases, a general dentist may be comfortable enough with the procedure to perform in the office. This usually only happens when a tooth has a root and when the failure rate for the particular procedure is relatively low. Simple root canals can be performed by a general or family dentist. However, if the canal has a complex enough anatomy that it is difficult to find, navigate, or reach the root, contact of an endodontist may be required.

Endodontists are specialist dentists who focus on dental pulp disorders and specialize in treatments such as root canals. Endodontists receive significantly more specialized training and have more years of experience. An endodontist is also recommended for teeth with more than one channel, such as molars. When it comes to undergoing root canal treatment, the field of dentistry offers two options.

Your regular dentist can do the work on your teeth, or a specialist. The formal term for a root canal specialist is “endodontist.”. Using a sample of 90 failed endodontic cases, this study found that 79% of them represented work performed by general dentists. Once the tooth is considered to be healing properly and the root canal is considered successful, a permanent restoration (such as a dental filling, post, or crown) is placed.

In fact, an endodontist's primary goal is to save teeth, which often limits their practice to endodontic procedures and performs an average of 25 root canal treatments per week. An endodontist, as defined by the American Board of Endodontists, is a dental specialist who treats the dental pulp, root, and surrounding tissues of diseased and injured teeth. In these parts of the country, it is more desirable to allow general dentists to perform root canal treatment. We also suggest that in cases where a tooth is of vital importance from the standpoint of associated dental work, and where treating the root canal of the tooth seems even remotely challenging, it makes sense to refer an endodontist as a way to help ensure the most predictable outcome.

Many patients' mouths are riddled with quirks and nuances that their family dentists are familiar with, but that can be difficult to convey to a newcomer. The amount of experience a new dental graduate (DDS, DMD) has in performing root canal treatment may be less than would be expected. Beyond the skill of the operator, equipment that can speed up the treatment process will generally be a must for an endodontic office, while for a general dentist, purchasing them may not be cost-effective. The skill level needed to successfully treat upper and lower incisors, upper and lower canines, and lower premolars generally seems to be well within the capabilities of general dentists in most cases.

Some dentists and endodontists use a special type of heat gun to fill the canal with a material called gutta-percha. I have friends who have had bad experiences with their root canals and tell me that I should go to a specialist. A restorative dentist focuses primarily on improving the patient's oral health and functional capacity (e). Endodontists are trained to treat the considerable number of individual roots and root canals in any individual molar.

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Luke Hupe
Luke Hupe

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