Do Root Canal Outcomes Change for Endodontists and GPs

If you require a root canal procedure, then you’re probably wondering whether or not you should get your treatment from your primary dentist or through an endodontist. Dentists focused on tooth pain use root canal treatment as a way to treat pain that stems internally, such as infections and necrotic decay. Pulp damaged by bacterial infection needs immediate attention when noticed, but does choose what dentist you go to affect the outcome of your treatment? Today, we’re here to explain some of the small differences between endodontists and general practitioners and help shed light on your root canal treatment.

Is an Endodontist Better Than a General Dentist?

Root canal procedures can be performed by both general dentists, family dentists, cosmetic dentists, and any dentist who’s earned an education by working with root canal procedures. In many offices, you will find that they offer root canal procedures, among other procedures, including tooth extractions and crown placements. However, root canal treatments are an increasing complication procedure because it often handles the internal components of the tooth, filled with the live tissues, blood vessels, and nerve endings that help maintain your oral health.

General dentists can perform root canal procedures through standard procedures, most often removing the infected pulp and any remaining infection present throughout the inside of the tooth. However, in more complex cases, such as the root channels of the tooth being misshapen or the infection spreading beyond the tooth to the jawbone, endodontists will most often handle these complex cases. Endodontists have years of specialized training in learning about root canal procedures, the various techniques that can be performed, retreatments, and other methods that other providers cannot offer to patients. Their years of experience, according to the American Association of Endodontists, give them an advantage above others.

When To See Your GP Or Endodontist For Treatment

But how does that translate into the result of your procedure? Studies looking into this topic found that over the course of over 480,000 non-surgical root canal treatments performed by endodontists, they had a success rate of over 5% over other providers, such as a general dentist. They observed the effects of these procedures over the course of 10 years between 2000 and 2013 and found that much of general dentists have been receiving endodontic education tailored for a general office, including workshops and extracurricular courses, which did not impact the success results by much for patients.

In short, root canal therapy has an overall very good long-term success rate, either performed by an endodontist or general dentist. But what if you need an endodontist for your treatment? Most often, the factors that will determine if you need an endodontist will include conditions such as:

  • Irreversible Pulpitis: Often causing inflammation and tooth pain, it’s when the pulp is so severely infected that the pulp cannot be saved. It’s at this point where pockets of pus develop, and the pulp can turn necrotic. 
  • Necrotic Pulp: Necrotic pulp develops when the infection causes the tooth’s pulp to die off internally, spreading any remaining infection to the root canals and jawbone. 
  • Calcified Pulp: Calcified areas can develop within the pulp alongside infection, causing the pulp to harden and expand within the tooth.
  • Deep Abscess Along The Tooth: Abscesses that develop alongside or inside the tooth can cause severe pain and infection considered harmful to your oral health. 
  • Sinus Infection With Tooth Pain: Some sources of tooth pain can reside from other presiding issues, including sinus infections.

In these cases, it’s essential to visit your general dentist to properly diagnose your tooth pain and receive a recommendation for an endodontist as soon as possible.

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Dr. Victor Bustos, DMD

Dr. Victor Bustos, DMD
3D Dentistry is led by Dr. Victor Bustos, a committed dentist who discovered a passion for dentistry at a young age. Since graduating from Florida International University, he brings his love of his craft to his patients, ensuring they are as satisfied with the results as he is with providing them.

Dr. Victor Bustos, DMD

Dr. Victor Bustos, DMD
3D Dentistry is led by Dr. Victor Bustos, a committed dentist who discovered a passion for dentistry at a young age. Since graduating from Florida International University, he brings his love of his craft to his patients, ensuring they are as satisfied with the results as he is with providing them.

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