Dentist Questions Root Canal

Should I go get my root canal done by a specialist?

My dentist says that he could perform my root canal treatment, mainly because he's been performing them throughout his career. He isn't exactly a specialist, though, and I think I'd be more comfortable going to a specialist to have this done. Do you recommend going to a specialist for root canal treatment?

18 Answers

Specialists should be used for multirooted teeth in my opinion.
Many general dentist do root canals treatments. It’s part of their training in dental school. If your dentist is experienced then there really shouldn’t be a problem. Specialists are recommended if there is a complication
Depends upon how difficult the root canal is, how competent your doctor is in doing them, and your personal preference.
General dentists are allowed to do root canals and many are very good at them. They are held to the standards of the specialist, and most achieve this. However, if you feel more comfortable going to see a specialist I recommend that you do. Your comfort is one of the high priorities of dental treatment.
If the dentist can do them that’s fine. But if you want a specialist you can go.
I've known many general dentists with extensive experience performing root canal therapy, and some have even limited their practices exclusively to root canal therapy after taking many additional courses and training (essentially making themselves a specialist). However, endodontists (root canal specialists) are more successful, on average, at having success treating difficult root canal treatments. They often also have equipment that many general dentists don't typically have, helping add to their success rate. If your general dentist RECOMMENDS a particular tooth be treated by a specialist, then I certainly would recommend taking that advice.
Your general dentist can do your root canal for you, but the root canal specialist has studied more and since they do only root canals, they can be a better fit.
If you feel more comfortable seeing a specialist then do so.
General Dentists are trained to do root canals, and it is up to each individual practitioner to decide which cases/teeth he feels comfortable doing for you. In my experience and based on science, upper molars often have an extra canal which can often be difficult to locate and treat. In my hands/opinion, I prefer to refer to specialists for any teeth that I am not comfortable treating including upper molars, calcified teeth, odd shaped canals, etc, and I prefer to do more straightforward root canals myself. Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable, and you will make the best decision for yourself after discussing with your dentist.
If you would feel more comfortable having your root canal therapy completed at a specialist, go to the specialist. That is what they are there for. Your dentist is probably very capable of performing the treatment to professional quality standards, as many general dentists are. I,and probably your dentist, discuss the options with my patients and have no problem with them seeing a specialist for any treatment a specialist can perform if the patient is more comfortable with that. I believe your dentist feels the same way. Dr.Grimm
Definitely recommend going to a specialist. The standard of care is utilizing a microscope during the procedure and specialists are trained in using the microscope.
Many dentist do root canal therapy, not just specialists. As a general dentist you are correct in saying he is not a specialist, but you also said he has been doing them through his career, so if you are comfortable with this doctors treatment and he feels that he can complete the treatment necessary, what is the need to see someone else?
If it is a difficult root canal or your dentist doesn't feel comfortable doing the treatment, then I would see a specialist. Some general dentists are very good with root canal treatment.
Not necessary to go to an Endodontist for root canal procedures. If your dentist feels competent and does root canals then he will do it, if not he will refer you. I have done all my patients' root canal procedures for over forty years.
It is a good idea to express to your dentist that you prefer to be seen by a specialist. From there, you may return to your dentist to have a core build up and crown placed. Most dentists refer patients to specialists, however some dentists are very comfortable performing them.

Dana Truesdale, DDS
It's completely up to you. Most root canals are performed by general dentists, but if it's a particularly difficult case, the general dentist will likely refer to a specialist. As I said, it depends on your comfort level. If you have confidence in your dentist to do it and he/she feels they are skilled enough, then go for it. On the other hand, if you do feel more comfortable going to a specialist, then I would go that route.

Owen M. Waldman, DMD