Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

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curious george
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Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by curious george » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Unfortunately I injured my tooth and it looks like it is dying or dead. My dentist recommended a root canal
I was wondering is this something that a regular dentist can do or is this something that I should see an endodontist for treatment ?
My current regular dentist felt comfortable doing this.
In the remote past, my old dentist sent me to an endodontist

Rupert
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Rupert » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Some dentists may be able to do it, but it's what endodontists do all day every day. I would choose the specialist.

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HueyLD
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by HueyLD » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:44 pm

curious george wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:31 pm
Unfortunately I injured my tooth and it looks like it is dying or dead. My dentist recommended a root canal
I was wondering is this something that a regular dentist can do or is this something that I should see an endodontist for treatment ?
My current regular dentist felt comfortable doing this.
In the remote past, my old dentist sent me to an endodontist
Ask your family dentist if (s)he does root canal on a regular basis.

My former family dentist was older and chose to send my family to an Endodontist. However, the current one in a new state is younger and is quite capable of doing root canal.

Ask!

sport
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by sport » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:45 pm

Rupert wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:38 pm
Some dentists may be able to do it, but it's what endodontists do all day every day. I would choose the specialist.
+1 This is something you want done correctly the first time. There may not be a do-over.

multiham
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by multiham » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:48 pm

I would vote for the Endodontist. To me, this is just another revenue stream your dentist is trying to tap into. Just like many dentists are trying to get into braces (especially Invisalign)

curious george
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by curious george » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:56 pm

I just got a new dentist having moved too far away to see my old dentist.
I asked her and she said she felt comfortable doing them and has done them. This is my first visit with her, so I was wondering if this was something that regular dentists do usually or not - I am just not familiar so I turned to my favorite forum.

drzzzzz
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by drzzzzz » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:59 pm

Our dentists have always referred us to an endodontist

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:13 pm

I have had root canals by both. Surprisingly (at least to me) the costs were about the same (YMMV, of course). Given that, I would choose an endodontist every time.

Even with that, some endodontists are better than others. Ask around--if you have time to be selective.

sport
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by sport » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:38 pm

I once needed a root canal due to some sloppy work done by the dentist. He offered to do the root canal. Yeah, right... :!:
That was about the same time I found another (much better) dentist.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by RudyS » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:43 pm

This is clearly a YMMV situation. Depends on the dentist as well as your tooth. For what it's worth, I had a root canal done, the tooth was dead, dentist has perhaps 10 years experience, and was comfortable doing this. As a layman I cannot judge his professional competence, but it seemed he was very careful about considering all aspects of what he did. Once done, he put in a crown. All went very well. The idea of an endodontist was never discussed.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by LiveSimple » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:51 pm

Go to a endodontist they have more better drillbits.

After my root canal, my destist had a challenging time to remove the cotton kept as a barrier between the permanent and the temporary fill. The comment was who drills such a small cavity, so I know the endodontist used the smaller drill. 😂

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dm200
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by dm200 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:16 pm

Over the years, sometimes I had this from a general dentist and sometimes from a specialist.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:32 pm

As a reminder, medical advice is off-topic. See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
Please keep the discussion general (which one is better) without discussing medical details.
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Starfish » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:52 pm

It depends a lot on the dentist. A good general dentist should be able to do a "normal" root canal without problems. Only the difficult ones are sent to the specialist.
There are general dentists who do a lot (thousands!) of root canals, ortho (braces, invisalign), extractions, implants etc and refer out only difficult/risky cases and there are general dentists who refer out everything. It's not just ""tapping into a revenue stream", it shows continuous interest and an agile mind because it's a lot of effort to be up to date and learn new stuff.

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monkey_business
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by monkey_business » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:14 pm

Endodontist. 100%.

I had a root canal done by a regular dentist. He did a bad job. It had to be redone years later and cost close to $2,500.

Do not make the same mistake. Go to the specialist.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by fsrph » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:31 pm

Although some general dentists may be able to do it, I'd choose an Endodontist every time.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 pm

my girlfriend had it done by an endontist (dentist wouldn't do it). It was a good experience. I'd suggest the endontist. Either way know what you're likely to be charged if paying out of pocket:

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:40 pm

Endo! My dentist has been in practice for nearly 40 years, sent me to an endo who was chief of dental surgery at a major trauma center. Guy did a great job, worth the money. My dentist did not have a setup like the endo did, specialized equipment.

You will still need to see the dentist for the crown though. Endo just put in a temporary filling until I could see the dentist.
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badger42
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by badger42 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:47 pm

(Staying away from specific medical advice here, this is more life advice)

As a general rule, the more somebody does something, the better they are at it.

If I need a procedure where risk or outcome is dependent on skill (endo definitely falls into that category), particularly where re-work would be painful / time consuming / costly, I would want to find somebody who does a whole lot of that procedure. The person who has done something thousands of times (whether it involves a tooth, transmission, or living trust) is more likely to get it right the first time.

At the same time, if a do-over is no big deal (extreme example: ordering french fries at your local Five Guys), it's not worth worrying about.
Last edited by badger42 on Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

investingdad
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by investingdad » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:49 pm

monkey_business wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:14 pm
Endodontist. 100%.

I had a root canal done by a regular dentist. He did a bad job. It had to be redone years later and cost close to $2,500.

Do not make the same mistake. Go to the specialist.
Ha. I'm in the process of getting a dental implant as a result of a failed root canal that became infected. Family dentist did the root canal when I was a teen.

The work should have been done by an endodontist.

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tooluser
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by tooluser » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:53 pm

Endodontist. I've only had one root canal long ago, but my dentist (who is retired now but was very good for regular stuff) gave it the first try and missed a hidden root not visible in the x-ray, which flared up a week or so after the original root canal. So I was referred to the endo. He took x-rays of the before and after condition. Even to my untrained eyes the difference in quality of the work was remarkable. For example, the fill in the roots was just a little off when done by the dentist, probably 0.1mm too little or too much (risk of irritation and infection). The endo's fills were exactly to the ends of the roots. He also had a good feel for the hidden root, which was sticking out horizontal from one of the other roots, no wonder the dentist missed it. I don't think you can get that kind of skill going without doing many, many root canals. Worth every penny. Still very happy 20+ years later.
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Fletch » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:57 pm

Rupert wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:38 pm
Some dentists may be able to do it, but it's what endodontists do all day every day. I would choose the specialist.
+1. Especially if the roots are twisted. Although I do have one tooth that has a root canal packed with gutta percha under the filling done by my regular "country" dentist after a kick in the mouth playing football circa 1960. It is still in great shape.
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Kenkat
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Kenkat » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:56 pm

Team Endodontist here.

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Stinky
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Stinky » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:08 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:56 pm
Team Endodontist here.
+1

My primary dentist is a very experienced guy who teaches at the local dental school. For my five root canals over the years, he’s always sent me to the Endo upstairs from him. The Endo does root canals all day - very fast, efficient, and capable.
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badger42
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by badger42 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:53 pm

Stinky wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:08 pm
The Endo does root canals all day - very fast, efficient, and capable.
This is truly the key, especially since you really don't want to have to go back and do it again.

bogatyr
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by bogatyr » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:15 pm

I have had 3 root canals, all done by general dentists. For the first one my insurance did not have any endodontists on the panel. For the second one I was in the army and was not given a choice. For the third one my general dentist does not do them, so he sent me upstairs to the endodontist. The endodontist wanted $200 up front for consultation, then $1200 for the root canal (one root), then I would have to go back to the dentist for the restoration (more money still). I found a general dentist that did the whole thing for $400. I have not had a problem with any of the teeth since. If money were no object I might have made a different decision, but I'm happy with how it has turned out.

actx
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by actx » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:31 pm

Ha! I just had one yesterday. . .so, here are my thoughts.

Endodontist without question. This is all they do. The guy I went to does 6-8 a day and his partner does 8-10 (he has been doing it a lot longer).

I haven't heard of a dentist charging per root? I had the consultation $120 and they gave me a price for the procedure regardless of the number of roots (I ended up having 4) $1320.

They have the equipment, the understanding and have seen most everything that can occur.

One thing to be wary about, my Dentist who referred me to the endodontist wanted me to have the endo put in a "temporary filling" and then come back to the dentist to put in a permanent one. This made no sense to me and it would be more costly - another office visit charge, charge for shots to numb, and the filling. Plus another few hours going to and from and the visit. I asked the endo and he said about half the referring dentist do it that way but he does them all day long and is perfectly qualified. So, the endo charge for the permanent filling was $170 and at my dentist it would have been $350 (I pay 35% of all charges so it was still a decent savings).

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by kenoryan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:43 pm

actx wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:31 pm
Ha! I just had one yesterday. . .so, here are my thoughts.

Endodontist without question. This is all they do. The guy I went to does 6-8 a day and his partner does 8-10 (he has been doing it a lot longer).

I haven't heard of a dentist charging per root? I had the consultation $120 and they gave me a price for the procedure regardless of the number of roots (I ended up having 4) $1320.

They have the equipment, the understanding and have seen most everything that can occur.

One thing to be wary about, my Dentist who referred me to the endodontist wanted me to have the endo put in a "temporary filling" and then come back to the dentist to put in a permanent one. This made no sense to me and it would be more costly - another office visit charge, charge for shots to numb, and the filling. Plus another few hours going to and from and the visit. I asked the endo and he said about half the referring dentist do it that way but he does them all day long and is perfectly qualified. So, the endo charge for the permanent filling was $170 and at my dentist it would have been $350 (I pay 35% of all charges so it was still a decent savings).
This is the kickback for referrals. I love my dentist but I was not happy when I had to go back to her for the permanent filling which could easily have been done by the endodontist. I told her that I was not happy and that everyone can see right through this bullshit. It’s not right to make me take more time off my busy schedule to come back to her another day to have the permanent filling. They think people are stupid. It’s a racket and you as the consumer have to protect yourself from getting screwed over by these guys. I’d choose the endo again, though. He did a super job.

Another racket that seems to be common in this area is the prosthetic device which the dentist will offer for snoring and sleep apnea. It costs a bunch of money and is totally useless.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by wander » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:01 pm

investingdad wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:49 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:14 pm
Endodontist. 100%.

I had a root canal done by a regular dentist. He did a bad job. It had to be redone years later and cost close to $2,500.

Do not make the same mistake. Go to the specialist.
Ha. I'm in the process of getting a dental implant as a result of a failed root canal that became infected. Family dentist did the root canal when I was a teen.

The work should have been done by an endodontist.
I am in the same situation. Some dentists just want your money so they rather do the root canal themselves instead of referring to a specialist.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Marylander1 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:00 pm

badger42 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:53 pm
Stinky wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:08 pm
The Endo does root canals all day - very fast, efficient, and capable.
This is truly the key, especially since you really don't want to have to go back and do it again.
The worst case is much worse than redoing the procedure. I'm on the long tail, but I had a general dentist do the one root canal I've ever had, and it was the biggest mistake of my life. Nearly killed me. Total resulting expenses will hit $800,000 next month with the latest surgery.

The special-referral dentist who cleaned up the mess said I should have gone to an endodontist.

Marylander1

Cleverusername
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Cleverusername » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:10 am

curious george wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:31 pm
Unfortunately I injured my tooth and it looks like it is dying or dead. My dentist recommended a root canal
I was wondering is this something that a regular dentist can do or is this something that I should see an endodontist for treatment ?
My current regular dentist felt comfortable doing this.
In the remote past, my old dentist sent me to an endodontist
I would seriously wonder about my dentist if they suggested this route. Can they do it? Probably. Can a family doctor remove a spleen? Probably. That doesn’t mean he/she should. There’s a reason doctors and dentists specialize.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by catdude » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:20 am

I've had three root canals; the first was done by a general dentist, the last two by endontists. Although the dentist did a good job, I'd agree with those who recommend having it done by an endontist. They do root canals all day long. Before my most recent one, the endontist promised me that the procedure would be "very boring." He was right, it was boring. In this context, "boring" = "good".
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investingdad
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by investingdad » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:21 am

wander wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:01 pm
investingdad wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:49 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:14 pm
Endodontist. 100%.

I had a root canal done by a regular dentist. He did a bad job. It had to be redone years later and cost close to $2,500.

Do not make the same mistake. Go to the specialist.
Ha. I'm in the process of getting a dental implant as a result of a failed root canal that became infected. Family dentist did the root canal when I was a teen.

The work should have been done by an endodontist.
I am in the same situation. Some dentists just want your money so they rather do the root canal themselves instead of referring to a specialist.
Do you also need a bone graft?

When the abscess was discovered I had a lot of bone loss (it was deep in my upper jaw, never had much pain) and I'm now waiting for the graft to heal.

In hindsight, when I was a teen the family dentist that did the root canal work brushed off my voicing of discomfort. The probing he did of my soft palate suggests to me now he was looking for signs of infection. My oral surgeon explained the pain I felt was consistent with a deep bone infection and the dentist may have suspected the problem.

But, that's in the past so...oh well.

When I was retreated before the oral surgeon began the graft and implant process, I saw the endodontist he works with.

curious george
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by curious george » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:49 am

I had a root canal done almost 15 years ago by an endodontist - never could figure what the traumatic event was. Now, the tooth next to it looks like it is dying. i dont think that i need a bone graft (hopefully). It is so hard to tell who is a good general dentist and does a lot of them and who doesn't. I asked and they gave me a general - we do a a lot of them and are comfortable doing thmg. Yelp or other reviews arent helpful as I find it is hard to know who is actually skilled (how can i rate someone's dental skills when I myself dont know much about what is required, what are the latest techniques etc)
I will look into seeing an endodontist. It appears that most in my area, simply do the root canal and refer back to the primary dentist for restorative work. I really dont have a relationship with my current dentist and asked - they still said no. any good ways to find a good endodontist

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by obgraham » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:08 pm

There’s the “good ol days” and there’s these days.

I had a root canal by a young general dentist 50 years ago. He capped it with a gold “partial onlay”. Every dentist who sees it calls it a true dental work of art.

I have had several since then, mostly all sent to endodontist. Last one very nicely done in spite of tbe fact she could not get successful mandibular nerve block despite 3 tries.

Kennedy
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Kennedy » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:18 pm

Unless you're in a small community without access to an endodontist, why wouldn't you go to a specialist- someone who does this procedure all day long?

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:39 pm

I'd go to an endodontist. Depending on the tooth, a standard dentist may not even touch it anyway.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by AlphaLess » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:50 pm

100%, most definitely endo.
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:15 pm

curious george wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:49 am
I had a root canal done almost 15 years ago by an endodontist - never could figure what the traumatic event was. Now, the tooth next to it looks like it is dying. i dont think that i need a bone graft (hopefully). It is so hard to tell who is a good general dentist and does a lot of them and who doesn't. I asked and they gave me a general - we do a a lot of them and are comfortable doing thmg. Yelp or other reviews arent helpful as I find it is hard to know who is actually skilled (how can i rate someone's dental skills when I myself dont know much about what is required, what are the latest techniques etc)
I will look into seeing an endodontist. It appears that most in my area, simply do the root canal and refer back to the primary dentist for restorative work. I really dont have a relationship with my current dentist and asked - they still said no. any good ways to find a good endodontist
Start here ---> https://www.aae.org/patients/why-see-an ... dodontist/
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Socrates28
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go with specialist

Post by Socrates28 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:49 pm

endodontists

Endodoc
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Endodoc » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:51 pm

Ask your general dentist where he/she sends their family members for endodontic therapy. In my experience (I have been an Endodontist for 15 years), much of my practice is fixing mistakes and I wish I could tell the previous provider to have allowed me to do it correctly the first time. That being said, not all Endodontists are equally skilled.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Pigeon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:10 pm

Having done both, an endodontist hands down.

kabek
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by kabek » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:50 pm

Endodontist.

I was a general dentist for many years and now an oral surgeon. As a prior individual noted, not all endodontist are the same, nor are general dentists. However, if you were to error on the side of experience somebody who has gone through a formal residency solely doing root canals, chances are they are more competent.

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wander
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by wander » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:36 pm

investingdad wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:21 am

Do you also need a bone graft?

When the abscess was discovered I had a lot of bone loss (it was deep in my upper jaw, never had much pain) and I'm now waiting for the graft to heal.

In hindsight, when I was a teen the family dentist that did the root canal work brushed off my voicing of discomfort. The probing he did of my soft palate suggests to me now he was looking for signs of infection. My oral surgeon explained the pain I felt was consistent with a deep bone infection and the dentist may have suspected the problem.

But, that's in the past so...oh well.

When I was retreated before the oral surgeon began the graft and implant process, I saw the endodontist he works with.
Yes. The endodontist had to pull that tooth. Bone graft was added as part of implant process. My case was worse, I actually lost a tooth. :oops:

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by toofache32 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:09 am

You didn't mention which tooth it was. Not all teeth are the same. How many canals are in the tooth? Do you have accessory canals? Do you have the dreaded "C-shaped" canal?
I don't expect the OP to know these things, but my point is that root canals can be very straight-forward or they can be disasters. To the person saying their root canal was done wrong, how do you know?? If you have a cardiac stent and then have another heart attack, was the stent done wrong? Correction of damage by disease doesn't stop the ongoing disease process.
My point is that it's not possible on an internet forum to give accurate recommendations.

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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by Teague » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:04 am

In general, even for an anticipated "easy" job, I'd suggest the high-volume operator has an advantage. Especially when something goes a bit sideways mid-procedure. They will have more experience with that unexpected deviation from plan, and more experience with what to do from that point forward.
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Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Post by toofache32 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:07 am

Teague wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:04 am
In general, even for an anticipated "easy" job, I'd suggest the high-volume operator has an advantage. Especially when something goes a bit sideways mid-procedure. They will have more experience with that unexpected deviation from plan, and more experience with what to do from that point forward.
As a dental specialist (not an endodontist), I would agree with this. If everything goes well, then it doesn't matter who does the root canal. But when there is a surprise, the guy who does it every day and all day is going to have the best chance at success.

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