When completing dental school, future dentists will determine their area of interest and functional path they would like to follow. There are many dental specialties to pursue, from orthodontics to oral surgery. Some dentists will decide to follow the path of endodontics.
Endodontists and dentists are both professionals who specialize in maintaining oral health. However, there are striking differences between the two practices.
If you’re in need of endodontic treatment services in Ellicott City, MD, reach out to Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman of Access Endodontics. Through their years of experience, they’ll be able to provide you with the appropriate endodontic service for your particular need.
Dentistry and Endodontics: What Is the Difference?
The dentist you visit for your annual or semi-annual appointment usually practices general dentistry or family dentistry. They’re trained to diagnose, treat and prevent a wide range of dental issues, such as cavities, gum disease, broken teeth, or missing teeth.
It may help to think of a dentist as being similar to a general practitioner in medicine. They can diagnose and treat various ailments, and they’re usually the first person you contact when you have a problem.
At times, some issues require specialized education and experience. If you have a dental problem beyond the scope of what your primary dentist does, they may refer you to a specialist.
What Is an Endodontist?
Many patients’ first experience with an endodontist occurs when their dentist recommends a root canal. An endodontist has received specialized training on the tooth’s interior and the tooth pulp. There are many services an endodontist performs beyond just root canals. These include:
- Endodontic surgery
- Apicoectomy or root end surgery
- Treatments for cracked teeth and trauma to the tooth
- Treatments for abscesses or cysts in the root
- Diagnosis and treatment of oral pain
What is tooth pulp? The term “tooth pulp” almost makes it seem like there’s just some soft tissue inside each tooth. A tooth actually contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The tooth pulp may become inflamed or infected in the event of an injury or deep tooth decay.
Endodontics or Dentistry: Who Do I See?
Generally, your dentist will let you know if you need to see an endodontist. They have the experience and knowledge to recognize when a problem with a tooth needs special care. If you have questions or concerns, you can always ask your dentist if they think you need to see an endodontist.
Why Does My Dentist Do Root Canals?
This doesn’t mean that dentistry and endodontics are the same. Your dentist may have done a root canal for you in-house without referring you to an endodontist. This may have happened for the following reasons. Your dentist may have undergone additional training giving them a more comprehensive understanding of root canals. Or, they may have an in-office endodontist who performs the service. However, if your dentist doesn’t have the experience or expertise to do the procedure, they may refer you to an endodontist for treatment.
What Kind of Training Does an Endodontist Receive?
Like dentists, endodontists complete dental school, many even practicing dentistry for some time before becoming endodontists. To become an endodontist, the doctor must attend school for an additional two or three years. During this time, they study different diseases of the tooth pulp and how those should be treated. Since these treatments are more complicated than those of general dentistry, education is much more specialized.
If you’re in need of endodontic treatment, it’s important to find an experienced and well-trained endodontist. They’ll be able to provide you with the care and attention needed to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Contact Access Endodontics Today
Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman provide a full range of endodontic services to patients in need of specialized care. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can be your endodontic partners in excellent oral health.
Unlike your dentist, the staff at Access Endodontics won’t clean your teeth or do other routine work. Instead, they will review your X-rays and other referral documents and discuss a treatment plan with you. They will focus on restoring tooth functionality, eradicating infection, and dealing with pain. If you need a root canal, schedule a consultation with Access Endodontics today by calling us at 410.304.7226.