Has your dentist informed you that you need a root canal procedure in order to save your tooth? While most general dentists do perform root canals, there are also dental specialists, known as endodontists, who specialize in root canal treatment. Here are three reasons to consider having your root canal performed by one of these specialists rather than by your general dentist.
If your root canals end up being hard to access, you're already in the right place.
Your root canals are the narrow passages in the center of your tooth root. Some peoples' root canals are narrower than others, and a general dentist may not have the know-how or equipment to reach into the narrowest of canals.
Often, patients and their dentists do not find out that the canals are extra narrow until the patient is in the chair. If your regular dentist starts your procedure, but then realizes he or she is unable to complete it because your canals are too narrow, you'll be sent to an endodontist anyways. Thus, it makes sense to just save yourself the trip and go to the endodontist in the first place.
Endodontists use the most advanced equipment and procedures.
Root canal technology has come a long way over the last few decades. Today's endodontists use microscopes and computerized technology to make the process easier. Ultrasounds may be used to ensure all of the root tissue is removed prior to the insertion of the rubberized tubes into the canals. Not all general dentists have or are trained to use these more advanced technologies, which means that a root canal in the chair of your general dentist may take longer and be more uncomfortable than one in the endodontist's chair.
Endodontists have seen it all when it comes to root canals, so they will recognize little quirks that need to be handled carefully.
Even if your dentist takes x-rays and examines you thoroughly, it is still possible that he or she will come across something rare or unexpected once your tooth is being drilled into and treated. If your general dentist comes across an abnormality, he or she may not recognize it or know exactly how to treat it. For instance, he or she may miss a very subtle sign of infection, and thus not prescribe you antibiotics. This is not to say your general dentist is not good at his or her job -- just that he or she has not had as much specific training in dealing with root canal abnormalities as an endodontist. An endodontist will be more likely to notice those little irregularities and treat them properly since he or she has had several years of specialized training focused just on this procedure.
Having your root canal procedure performed by a general dentist is not a poor decision, but having it done by an endodontist is a better one. This way, you'll know your root canals are in the hands of someone who has spent their career focusing on this specific therapy.
For more information, do an online search for endodontists in your area.