If someone asked you, “Can you help me find an endodontist near me,” your first response might be, “find who?” Let's put it in plainer terms: an endodontist is a root canal specialist.
This dental specialist also offers other dental services that have to do with the pulp and roots of the teeth.
We're going to review more about endodontists, root canal treatments, and other aspects of endodontics.
Table of contents
- 1 What is an endodontist?
- 2 How does an endodontist differ from a dentist?
- 3 Why might I need to find an endodontist near me?
- 4 What is a root canal treatment?
- 5 How successful are root canals?
- 6 How much does a visit to an endodontist cost?
- 7 Endodontic Treatment Financing Options
- 8 Finding an endodontist near me
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 FAQs
What is an endodontist?
‘Endodont’ (endo-dont) is a Greek word that means “inside-tooth.” An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training in procedures involving the pulp and roots of the teeth. Endodontists specialize in performing treatments such as root canals and surgeries and often handle post-traumatic dental injuries.
Consider molar tooth removal—molars aren’t easily accessible and have several underlying canals that need to be delicately handled. Endodontists can perform this procedure efficiently because they have studied the field for an additional two years after dental school. A general dentist can also perform a root canal treatment (for example, on anterior or bicuspid teeth). However, in the case of difficult focus areas, like molars, it's always better to get treated by an endodontist because then you can benefit from their additional education and experience.
This specialized treatment not only involves infected dental pulp removal but also includes the preservation of the teeth that fail to respond to non-surgical treatments or have developed new lesions. With the help of advanced techniques, an endodontist can treat your tooth appropriately while minimizing as much of the discomfort as possible.
This short video from the American Dental Association (ADA) will help you get a better picture of endodontics.
How does an endodontist differ from a dentist?
Both dentists and endodontists complete their education at dental schools. But in addition to obtaining a degree in dentistry, endodontists complete an additional two years of specialization in diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatments. This makes them more proficient and accurate when it comes to dental procedures involving critical areas of the mouth like the pulp and root.
Although general dentists can perform root canal treatments, they might still refer you to an endodontist if you’re in need of specialized endodontic treatments (for example, on molars). If this happens, don’t be surprised; your dentist knows what she's doing and is only concerned about the quality of care you should receive.
Root canal treatment is a complex procedure and usually involves using advanced equipment and technology like specialized microscopes, digital imagining, fiber optics, and ultrasound instruments. On average, endodontists perform 25% of all root canal treatments.
Why might I need to find an endodontist near me?
While the primary treatments that endodontists offer have to do with diagnosing the reasons behind tooth pain, they can also provide you care for issues like sensitivity to hot and cold food, chewing discomfort, dull ache, and gum diseases. In addition to root canal procedures, endodontists specialize in the following treatments.
Although the success rate of a root canal is nearly 80–85%, your tooth can develop new problems (like an infection or inflammation) post-treatment; in some cases it may even lead to root canal failure. There could be multiple causes of root canal failure, including:
- Incorrect oral examination
- Misinterpretation of radiographs
- Improper case selection
- Inadequate sterilization of instruments
An endodontist usually recommends surgery in cases where there are small fractures or hidden canals. They’re particularly skilled in the identifying infections in smaller crevices and identifying any calcium deposits.
Apicoectomy, a surgical procedure also referred as root-end-resection, is done after a root canal to treat the infection that exists at the end of the tooth. During this procedure, an incision is made on the gum tissue to expose the bone, and a small opening is created in the bone at the tip of the root. After removing the underlying gum or bone tissue infection, a filling is added to seal the root canal and the patient is given stitches. It may sound daunting, but the recovery rate of an apicoectomy is similar to that of a root canal procedure.
Dislodged tooth treatment
Did you know you could actually reattach a dislodged tooth? It's possible, but you shouldn’t try doing this at home. Leave this procedure to the experts, like endodontists. In case you’ve suffered an injury and your tooth has detached from the socket or become loose, you should immediately contact an endodontist near you or an emergency dental service for advice. Call 844-207-7106 today.
Traumatic dental injuries
Traumatic injuries that are a result of accidents can cause severe damage to your teeth and mouth tissues. In some cases, there might even be damage to the teeth pulp. Endodontists are specialized in handling cases that involve untreated calcified canals or infections that have not healed properly.
What is a root canal treatment?
Before we go into the details of root canal treatment, let’s review the anatomy involved.
The root canal is the natural cavity at the center of the tooth. The soft area in between the root canal is the pulp chamber. Within the root canal lies a nerve that provides a sensation of hot and cold.
A decaying tooth, if not treated, can cause issues such as bacterial infection or a dental abscess. If the infection deteriorates, it can also lead to swelling in other areas of the face or neck and loss of bone around the tip of the root.
Root canal treatment is used to repair and save these teeth from decaying and infection. As part of the process, the infected nerve and pulp are removed, cleaned, and sealed.
The root canal process
This is how the procedure is generally carried out:
- The first step includes taking an x-ray to determine the shape of the patient’s root canals and the level of infection surrounding the bone. It may not be necessary, but local anesthesia can numb the area so that the patient doesn’t feel discomfort.
- After this, the endodontist places a rubber dam around the teeth to keep the area saliva-free during the treatment.
- An access hole is made with a drill through which the infected pulp, decayed nerve tissue, and debris are removed. To maintain hygiene, the area is cleaned using root canal files.
- Immediately after cleaning, the endodontist seals the opening using a sealer paste and a rubber compound called gutta-percha. Some doctors may want to wait a week to seal the opening to monitor progress and see if any infection develops.
- The final step includes the restoration of the tooth to protect it from breaking.
A root canal treatment is an intricate procedure and may require several visits to an endodontic specialist. Initially after the treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive due to inflammation, but this discomfort is usually controllable. If, however, your condition deteriorates (you start experiencing pain or see blood for example), you should contact your endodontist immediately. These may be symptoms of a possible infection.
Usually, the endodontist near you will prescribe some over-the-counter pain medications to keep you comfortable at home. To further prevent the recontamination of the tooth interior, you should minimize chewing on that side of the mouth until the numbness wears off.
How successful are root canals?
The failure rate of a root canal treatment is low—less than 15%. Once the treatment is complete, the results can last for a lifetime.
But even if a root canal specialist has put in his best efforts to clean and seal a tooth, new infections can happen after the procedure. Undetected cracks in roots, recontamination in the area due to deficient dental restoration, and breakdown of sealing material with time could possibly complicate the procedure.
You can take some preventive steps like maintaining good oral hygiene, wearing a mouth guard while playing sports, and visiting dentists regularly. These measures can reduce the need for re-treatment.
How much does a visit to an endodontist cost?
People often get nervous when they hear that they need to get a root canal procedure. They usually get worried about two things: one is the stigma of the pain, and the second is the cost of the treatment. Let’s talk about the latter first.
Generally, the cost of such a treatment depends on a few factors:
- Your dentist's location and rates
- The extent and complexity of the damage
- Tooth size (specifically, the number of roots and canals)
- Tooth position (the back teeth tend to cost more)
Whether dentists perform it by themselves or refer you to an endodontist, the cost of a root canal procedure would likely be similar. Though the endodontist near you may charge a premium for the specialized care and expertise, the difference is usually not significant. Of course, having dental insurance would offset some of the costs, or you can also opt for one of the dental financing options discussed in the next section.
But on average, a root canal treatment will cost you somewhere around $700 for a front tooth and $1,000 for a molar.
Now as far as the pain is concerned, we understand that it may seem intimidating. Talk to your endodontist about your concerns and ask for suggestions regarding pain management. In some cases, they may suggest an alternative treatment.
The following table discusses the different alternatives to root canal treatment and their average costs:
Endodontic Treatment Financing Options
The cost of visiting an endodontist can be heavy on the pocket since it is a complex procedure. However, you can use a few strategies to save a little on the treatment expense.
Dental discount plan
Dental discount plans are affordable, flexible ways to reduce the cost of traditional dental insurance. With such discounted plans, you’ll pay an annual fee instead of monthly installments or dental insurance premiums. Once you’ve chosen a plan, a card will be issued to you that you can present at each visit to make use of the discount. With a discount plan there’s no third-party insurance company involved and you directly pay the discounted rate to the endodontist. Also, these plans are useful when there’s an unexpected dental emergency and you can’t afford to delay getting treated.
You can claim the cost of the treatment through dental insurance; however, whether or not your insurance will cover your root canal procedure will depend on your particular plan. There may also be a waiting period. Often you end up paying a portion of the cost and your insurance will cover the rest. This could help you cut down on the cost of treatment and also cover other treatments.
Instead of going to a traditional clinic, you can opt for endodontic schools that provide the same care at much more affordable rates. Not every area has an endodontic school, but many areas do have general dental schools where you can receive certain treatments.
Finding an endodontist near me
Dental issues can sometimes require immediate care and you may need to find a specialist urgently. Thus, instead of rushing to find a dentist at the time of an emergency, you should probably have a few contact numbers or reference sources ready beforehand.
Start with referrals from your dentist. Given the expertise in the field and knowledge of your dental history, they will be able to suggest the best one for your condition. Also, you can be frank about your budget and your insurance coverage. They can also provide insights on what your insurance plan may cover. If you've chosen a dental discount plan, the plan provider can refer you to an endodontist who accepts it.
You can also look for endodontists online using the key phrases like ‘endodontists near me’ or ‘endodontist in my area.’ Research the facilities they provide and also read a few reviews about them before finalizing on a specialist. Phone directories and newspaper ads are other viable options that you can explore. You could also check with your local health department about affordable and discounted dental services near you.
Though the above sources are great to find an endodontist near you, if you’d like to skip the hassle of calling around everywhere and get connected to an endodontist quickly, you could call 844-207-7106 and they can point you in the direction of a local endodontist.
While visiting an endodontist, remember to take all your previous medical records and a list of your prescriptions with you. This can provide important insights into your condition. After reviewing your records, the endodontist will perform a dental x-ray to determine the status of your tooth and recommend appropriate action.
Dentists and endodontists both specialize in dental care but have different skill sets. Dentists take care of your teeth, gums, and oral wellbeing, while endodontists specialize in performing procedures related to the interior of the tooth and pulp.
Although both experts have overlapping practice areas of expertise, endodontists can provide you better care as compared to general dentists in the diagnosis of tooth pain and gum tissue injuries and performing root canals.
What is an endodontist?
An endodontist is a dental specialist who has undergone extensive training in procedures involving the pulp and roots of the teeth. This expert usually operates within the tooth and is skilled in performing treatments such as root canals and surgeries and handling traumatic dental injuries.
Is a root canal treatment painful?
Endodontists take care to numb the area with anesthetics to ensure you don't have any discomfort during the procedure. You may experience some soreness once the anesthetic wears off, but that can be treated with pain medication (usually over-the-counter). If you experience extreme pain even with pain medication, you may need to contact your endodontist.
How do I find an endodontist near me?
Reaching out to your dentist would be the best way to locate a nearby endodontist, or you could also try searching online. You can also contact sources like the American Academy of Endodontics (AAE). For a quick way to locate a root canal specialist, call 844-207-7106 to get connected with a dentist in your area who can recommend a local endodontist to you.
What can I expect from a root canal specialist?
Understanding the root canal procedure is important if you’re soon due to get one. Don't be nervous—root canal specialists have extensive knowledge and training in the area. Usually, it feels just like a routine filling. Your general dentist can help you understand the reasons why you need a root canal and possibly refer you to an endodontist, or root canal doctor.
To ensure you don’t feel any pain during the procedure, the endodontist will administer local anesthesia to the affected area. Next, the procedure involves drilling a hole into the tooth and removing infected tissue and debris. Following the cleaning, the endodontist closes the hole with a special sealant solution.
Once the anesthesia wears of, you can expect some soreness or pain. You can take over-the-counter medication to manage the pain, eat softer foods to avoid discomfort, and brush your teeth as usual.
What is the difference between a pediatric endodontist and an adult endodontist?
The root canal procedure is the same in the case of pediatric and adult endodontists; the only difference is in the specialization. Pediatric endodontists encounter more treatment irregularities because children's teeth are still growing. A pediatric endodontist focuses more on issues related to cavities, traumatized teeth, and developmental anomalies.