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Why Are Some Root Canals Done By a General Dentist and Other By an Endodontist?

Posted on: December 20th, 2022 | Categories: Endodontics

While the exterior of a tooth is extremely hard, at the core of every tooth there is a soft part called the pulp. A dentist that specializes in this interior of the tooth is called an endodontist, like the one at Worcester Periodontics. This interior part of the tooth contains blood vessels and nerves that can get infected when exposed to bacteria through untreated cavities and dental trauma. The endodontist is responsible for removing the pulp and infection from the tooth and filling up the space with a substance called gutta-percha to make sure an infection can’t happen again.

You may have had this treatment done by a general dentist in the past and that same general dentist may now be referring you to an endodontist. You may be asking yourself, “What gives? Why do general dentists do some root canals while others are done by endodontists?”. The simple answer is that just like any other industry, generalists can get a job done if it’s simple enough but for complex cases a specialist is called in. In this case the specialist for the root canal is the endodontist.

More specifically though, there can be three major reasons why a general dentist will refer you to an endodontist:

  • Complex anatomy – If the dentist takes an x-ray of your tooth and finds out that the anatomy of the interior is too complex for their skill level they will refer you to a specialist.
  • Specialized equipment – An endodotinst has specialized equipment such as a microscope that allows cleaning the the narrowest of root canals, which a general dentist may not have.
  • Root Canal Retreatment – If a general dentist attempted to do a root canal on a tooth but it didn’t come out as well as the general dentist would have hoped, an endodontist is often needed to redo the root canal. A good general dentist should have their patients’ best interests in mind and refer to an endodontist if they have even the slightest doubt that they can do the root canal.

If you live near Worcester and your general dentist told you that you need a root canal and recommended you see an endodontist, the endodontist at Worcester Periodontics would be glad to see and help restore your oral health.

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