If your family dentist thinks that your dental condition requires endodontic care, he or she is likely to refer you to an endodontist.
An endodontist specializes in the pulp and roots inside the teeth. He or she is trained to save the pulp of a tooth. In cases where the damage is extensive, they will clean and restore teeth where the pulp has been debilitated.
An endodontist diagnoses and treats oral and facial pain resulting from problems having to do with the pulp or the roots of teeth. To do their job effectively, they are trained in the use of ultrasonic technology, operating microscopes, digital imaging and other similar advanced technologies.
An endodontist goes through several years of education before they are qualified to practice in the field. They go through four years of general dentistry education. They get at least two years of advanced education in endodontics through a post-doctoral program accredited by the American Dental Association. If they want board-certification from the American Board of Endodontics, they have to further fulfill all the necessary requirements before earning diplomate status from the board.
If you need the services of an endodontist, you will usually be referred to one by your family dentist. If you have to choose one yourself, you need to consider several things, including educational qualifications, experience, continuing education, patient relations, and the like.
How extensive is an endodontist’s experience? Have they been doing root canals and other endodontic surgical procedures for quite some time now? You want an endodontist who has earned credentials through the productive and successful practice of the profession.
Does the clinic have the latest in surgical equipment and technology? Is the endodontist aware of the newest developments in the field of endodontic therapy? Are they an active member of reputable associations of dental practitioners? Do they have a teaching position in a dental school? Do they make an effort to remain updated about the latest clinically-sound, safe, and effective procedures in the field? You want an endodontist who has the passion, and the ability to continue learning and specializing the field.
Do you feel comfortable with the endodontist? Does they have a pleasant bedside manner? Do you think you can easily talk to them about your dental problems? Do they have the time, patience, and wherewithal to answer your questions, and assuage your apprehensions to your satisfaction? You should be able to discuss recommendations for treatments, and freely confer with them about the outcomes other patients have had with the same treatment.
Are staff members similarly inclined to be professional, helpful and service-oriented towards patients? Is the clinic accessible? Are the clinic hours convenient? What are the clinic’s policies regarding emergencies? Can the endodontist be reached even after clinic hours, in case of emergency?
How much money do you have to prepare for the interventions that you need? Can you use your dental insurance? Does the clinic offer in-house or third-party financing plans?
You need to get satisfactory answers to these questions so you will be able to make a sound choice when you go looking for a qualified endodontist.