A Look at Why Dentists Refer Their Patients to Endodontists

If you are having tooth pain, there is a good chance your dentist will refer you out to an endodontist. Although these specialists only make up three percent of the dental field, they play a major role in helping people maintain their dental health. Their expertise comes into play when the dental pulp inside the teeth requires care. Using high-tech tools and proven practices, they can restore the condition of the tooth, eliminating the need for extraction.

Top Reasons for an Endodontics Referral

Before deciding to refer their patients out, dentists will perform an exam to find the cause of the discomfort. If they discover any of the following problems, they will likely decide to send their patients to an endodontist.

Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth need prompt repairs to keep the infection from settling into the root and causing extensive damage. Thankfully, endodontists specialize in those repairs. Through targeted testing procedures, they can visualize the crack and determine the ideal treatment process.  Their efforts can often help save the tooth from the root up, allowing you to avoid extraction.   

Infected Tooth Pulp

When the pulp inside the tooth gets infected, you may need to have a root canal performed to fix the damage and save your tooth. Even if your dentist is well-versed in performing root canals, they likely only complete a few each month. Endodontists, on the other hand, perform this procedure almost every day to help eliminate their patients’ pain and save their teeth, making them the best choice for this procedure.

Root Canal Exam and Repairs

Root canals have a 95 percent success rate, which leaves a small chance of the procedure failing. If that happens, your dentist will likely send you to an endodontist for an evaluation. The specialist will take a close look at the pulp to see what went wrong and how to fix it.

If dentists note a need for root canal repair, they will refer out to an endodontic expert who can perform an apicoectomy to save the tooth. This endodontic retreatment procedure allows for the removal of the tip of the affected tooth’s root, eliminating the pain you feel and saving the structure.

When in doubt, dentists will often refer to an endodontist in an effort to help their patient find a prompt resolution. They trust that these specialists will go above and beyond in trying to save the tooth and keep their patients comfortable.

Difference Between Dentists and Endodontists

Dentists spend up to eight years in school learning how to maintain and restore their patients’ dental health. Endodontists go beyond basic dental training by attending two additional years of specialty instruction. Through their additional years in school, endodontists learn how to identify all the different conditions that can affect tooth pulp. They also spend extensive time learning how to perform root canals and similar procedures using industry best practices and high-tech tools.

Benefits of Seeing an Endodontics Specialist

As endodontists train for their role as a specialist in saving teeth, they master the use of high-tech tools designed to improve both patient comfort and procedure outcomes. They may utilize specialty devices, such as the GentleWave System, during the root canal procedure, for example, which boosts the success rate by more than two percent. In addition to improving outcomes, these high-tech tools also help improve patient comfort during and after the procedure.

Furthermore, due to their choice to specialize, endodontists simply focus on performing root canals and other tooth-saving procedures for their patients. While working full-time, endodontists will perform about 25 root canals a month on average, dramatically increasing their experience in this realm. With that experience, they can better identify the underlying cause of their patients’ discomfort and find the best treatment options.

If your dentist refers you to an endodontist, rest assured that you are set to receive the highest-quality care and support. You can also seek out endodontic care on your own by giving our team a call at 704-541-7017. With your call, you can receive help from our team at Ballantyne Endodontics in finding the perfect time to come in and consult with your endodontist.