Endodontist Questions Root Canal

Endodontists and root canals?

I was referred to an endodontist for a root canal. Previously it had been done in my dentist's office. Does this mean it's worse this time? What's the difference?

16 Answers

It is a little more complicated retreating a previous root canal. One must remove the previous root canal filling material and or posts and occasionally repair damage that may have occurred during the original root canal. And look for potential missed canals. First you need to rule out situations that may leave a poor prognosis such as a crack in a route or external or internal resorption of the route. So a good evaluation first to determine the prognosis and weather the tooth indeed does need to be re-treated is the place to start.
I hope this has helped you Paul Northup DDS
Most of the root canals are done by general dentists, but sometimes when the tooth has complex anatomy or is difficult to treat, general dentists refer them to Endodontists. Endodontist undergo 2-3 years of extra training and are well equipped to treat a variety of cases.
It may be that your dentist chooses to treat only some teeth, typically molars are more difficult and some dentists choose to refer to an endodontist. There are many factors such as presence of curved roots, caclifications, and infection which can make root canal treatment very challenging. An endodontist specializes in root canals and is equipped in handling these challenges.
Endodontists treat all levels of root canal treatment difficulty. The reason your dentist refers you to the specialist can be complex-time availability, difficulty of treatment, condition of the tooth, etc. The endodontist has more training and experience in doing all root canal treatments. Therefore, the specialist can be more efficient, more capable of managing more difficult and varied situations. I would have higher expectations for the final result by the endodontist.
A canal could have been missed or blocked it self completely off, I recommend seeing a Enododontist instead of a general dentist. Just because they specialize in the nerve of teeth
Retreatment of a failed root canal is always more complicated. The endodontist has to go through crowns, remove posts and remove old root canal fillings. The post and root canal fillings are permanently cemented in...meaning not easy to remove. Canals may be blocked out, have broken instruments or be perforated. Problems to be undone. Endodontists use microscopes to enable them to see far better, which may make it easier, but not easy.
Endodontists specialize in root canal treatments, meaning we as endodontists have the extra years of schooling in order to treat patients who need root canals or surgeries related to root canals. We also have tools in our office and special training.
The tooth may be more difficult to preform a root canal on due to the number of canals, calcifications, curvature, etc. Endodontists generally have microscopes and other instruments to complete more difficult cases.
All dentists are trained to do root canals in regular dental school, and general dentists can and are qualified to do them. An endodontist is a dentist that has gone to school for an additional 2-3 years to study the biology and mechanical techniques of root canal and related procedures, and are more qualified to perform root canals that might be more challenging.
To have a tooth retreated, it is not any worse. You are numb for the procedure so you will not feel discomfort while the tooth is being treated. The procedure is different from a tooth that has not been previously treated because the filling materials that were used must be removed from inside the tooth in addition to disinfecting it.
endodontists specialize in root canal and have better technology to perform treatment It should be a good experience
Being referred to an Endodontist for root canal procedures is very common in the dental world. Many general dentists frequently send their patients to specialists for difficult or complicated procedures as Endodontists have more experience in treating these patients as well as a wider variety of more technologically advanced equipment including microscopes and 3D Cone Beam Computer Tomography scans which can often elevate the level of care provided. So frequently patients are best served by these referrals to someone who limits their practice to Endodontic Specialty Care.
Endodontists are the root canal specialists. For you that means more knowledge, experience and better equipment. While an endodontist will treat more difficult or complicated teeth, it does not mean that your particular case is that way. It is great news that your general dentist understands that a specialist can provide you a higher quality treatment. You should feel very fortunate to have a general dentist that is confident, experienced and honest to refer you to the expert for your treatment.
Retreatment or non-surgical treatment of a previously done root canal is a more involved procedure and requires the use of magnification to be able to remove the material placed in the canals and possibly locate missed canals. Root canal specialists usually perform their procedures under a microscope that allows magnification up to 20 times and have more specific instruments for more involved procedures that a general dentist usually does not have. I definitely recommend seeing a root canal specialist for all retreatments.
Your dentist may be proficient in doing root canals but depending on the tooth anatomy or the extent of disease in the tooth they may opt to refer you to a specialist to assure that your tooth is treated to the highest level of clinical expertise. Your dentist makes a case selection decision on each case as to whether it should be treated in their office or be referred to a specialist. The referral to an Endodontist shows that your dentist is conscientious and wants to be sure that you have the best possible outcome for your root canal!
General dentists refer out rootcanal for many reasons. Some don't like to do them; some pick and choose what teeth they want to treat. There is a chance that your case is a difficult case to negotiate the canals and you dentist feels that a specialist has a better chance of achieving a good result. The experience you have at any doctors office varies. People who come to my office typically are very satisfied. I have been doing root canals only for 19 years and I have learned a few tricks along the way to may it a pleasant as can be.