Dentist and Endodontist

What’s the Difference?

Recently, we discussed what separates a periodontist from a regular dentist. However, periodontists are far from the only specialists that the Placerville Dental Group keeps available for referrals. Continuing our series on dental specialties, this week we will discuss the benefits provided by an endodontist and their role in your oral health.

The Role of an Endodontist

Let’s break down the word endodontist. It comes from two Greek roots. The last part, –odont, means “tooth” (which explains why the names for most dental specialties end with –odontist). The first part, endo-, means “inside.” Therefore, the name fits well because an endodontist specializes in the dental pulp, or the nerves, vessels and tissues inside your teeth.

When you have a broken or dislodged tooth, your dentist may call an endodontist to get the job done. If you require a root canal therapy, an endodontist may take care of it for you. They also address dental pulp inflammation or infection. These are all areas where general dentists are also trained (since severe toothache is a form of dental emergency), but an endodontist may be contacted if your general dentist is already booked for procedures or if your tooth presents a special difficulty.

Studying for Endodontistry

While all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists become endodontists. In addition to the four years it takes to become a dentist, an endodontist studies and trains for another two years or more! This program of intense training and study hones them into experts on diagnosing oral and facial pain as well as administering proper treatments to resolve it. Their goal is to bring a toothache under control and then to alleviate the problem completely.

Because of the delicate nature of endodontistry, the Placerville Dental Group has specialized materials and equipment available to make your root canal procedure as comfortable and effective as possible. These may include:

Using this equipment prevents pain and leads to precise treatments, helping you avoid complications.

If you would like to meet an endodontist, give us a call. We can arrange a meeting at your next semiannual visit, or if you would like to discuss an issue sooner, schedule an appointment here on our website or we can do the same over the phone.


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