There are many specialized areas in dentistry, making it difficult for many people to decipher which specialty does what. Confusion increases when the names of the dental specialties are as similar as endodontics and orthodontics. In this case, there is a clear distinction between these two areas of dentistry. For example, if you are told that you may need an apicoectomy, an endodontist is the proper specialist to contact. However, if you’ve been told that your jaw needs to be repositioned, an orthodontist can help. While each professional is a dentist, an endodontist focuses on the interior of the tooth and root canals, while an orthodontist works with the alignment of teeth and jaw. Understanding the difference between endodontics and orthodontics can help you know which specialist you should be seeing for your dental needs.
To help you better understand endodontics vs. orthodontics, we’ve created this quick and easy guide to the basics of each specialty as well as some other pertinent information about what sets the two apart. If you end up needing a root canal, apicoectomy, or endodontic retreatment services in Maryland, make sure you contact Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman of Access Endodontics today by calling 410.304.7226 or by reaching out online.
What Is an Endodontist?
Perhaps you’ve recently visited your regular dentist, and they’ve suggested that you see a Maryland endodontist for a possible root canal treatment. As you listened to your dentist, you may have started wondering what an endodontist does.
Simply put, an endodontist is a dental professional who specializes in treating issues involving the dental pulp. The dental pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that can sometimes become injured or infected due to dental trauma or tooth decay.
Common endodontic services include the following:
- Root canal therapy – This procedure involves removing the pulp and cleaning out canals within the tooth, preventing further infection while maintaining the natural structure of the tooth.
- Apicoectomies – An apicoectomy is a procedure that involves removing the end portion of an infected tooth root.
- Treatment of traumatic dental injuries – Endodontists can treat fractured or broken teeth and diagnose any damage to the pulp.
- Crown lengthening – Some endodontists provide crown lengthening, which is a procedure that involves reshaping the gum around a tooth in order to make room for a crown.
- Endodontic retreatment – If a root canal treatment does not take the first time, endodontists can provide retreatment to ensure that the problem is properly addressed.
Endodontists are highly educated professionals in the dental field and are skilled at diagnosing and treating issues involving the dental pulp. Their specialization is already specific, but they sometimes specialize even further by focusing on one particular area of endodontics. When you need an endodontist, make sure to look into their area of specialization.
What Is an Orthodontist?
If your dentist recommends you to an orthodontist, it’s for a very different reason than why they might suggest an endodontist. Orthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of irregularities in the jaw. This refers mostly to alignment issues, including overbites, underbites, crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and more.
Common orthodontic treatments include:
- Metal braces – Traditional metal braces are still one of the most popular options for correcting alignment issues.
- Invisalign – This clear aligner system is an alternative to metal braces.
- Retainers – Retainers are used to help stabilize the teeth after braces and keep them in the proper alignment.
When it comes to issues with alignment or bite, an orthodontist is the person to call. They can help diagnose and treat any issues you’re having with your teeth or jaw.
An Endodontist vs. an Orthodontist: The Difference
After looking at an overview of these specialized areas of dentistry, it’s time to take a look at the things that set them apart from one another.
Endodontics focuses on the dental pulp found on the inside of the tooth. Any issues involving tooth decay or tooth damage that affects the dental pulp should be diagnosed and treated by an experienced endodontist.
On the other hand, orthodontics is concerned with the alignment of the teeth rather than the inside of them. Any time that you or your child need to address an issue involving crowded teeth, crooked teeth, or any kind of bite problem, you want to speak with an orthodontist for a professional opinion.
The names are somewhat similar, but the areas of dentistry that each of these specializations focus on are quite different from one another. If you have any further questions, speak to your dentist, and they can provide you with guidance.
In Need of Endodontics in Maryland? Call Access Endodontics
Understanding the difference between endodontics and orthodontics is key in helping you make sure that you’re getting the right kind of care for your dental needs. If you need any kind of endodontic service in Maryland, from a root canal to an apicoectomy, contact Access Endodontics today. Our highly experienced endodontists, Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman, are here to help. Give us a call today at 410.304.7226 or reach out online to schedule an appointment.