How is an Endodontist Different from a Dentist?

When individuals think of oral health, the first professionals that come to mind are usually dentists. Many other people are also familiar with orthodontists or oral surgeons; but what about an endodontist? What exactly are their credentials and what services do they provide?

An endodontist is a highly educated individual who specializes in diagnosing and treating tooth pain and performing root canal treatment. All endodontists are dentists but less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. Like a doctor in another field, endodontists are specialists who have completed an additional two or more years of training after dental school. Their additional training centers on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.

By limiting their area to endodontics, they can concentrate exclusively on treatments of dental pulp. They complete around 25 root canal treatments a week; a general dentist typically does two. Endodontists don’t place fillings or clean teeth. Their time is dedicated to diagnosing and treating tooth pain. They are skilled specialists in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that is difficult to diagnose.

Endodontists employ the use of special techniques to ensure patients are comfortable during  treatment. They are experts in administering numbing medications to patients who have difficulty getting and staying numb. Their patients will be amazed when their tooth pain vanishes after their treatment when the pulp infection or inflammation heals.

Endodontists have materials and equipment designed to make treatment more comfortable and successful. They use a small sheet of latex called a dental dam to isolate the tooth during treatment, protecting the rest of your mouth. Digital radiographs and 3-D imaging allow endodontists to take detailed pictures of tiny tooth anatomy to better see the root canals and any related infections. Endodontists use dental operating microscopes to see inside the root canals to thoroughly treat them.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or have a tooth that  is sensitive to hot or cold, you may need to see an endodontist. For all your general dentistry needs in the Chicago area call the office of Dr. Scott Malik at (847) 724-1771 to make an appointment. The office can inform you of all their services. Dr. Malik and his experienced team can keep the oral health of your entire family in peak form.