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What Are the Differences Between an Endodontist and a General Dentist? Posted on June 22, 2015

Endodontist VS General Dentist

General dentists and endodontists are both dental care professionals. Although they have a few overlapping practice areas, overall, they treat different dental issues. They work together with patients who require root canal therapy, with endodontists usually diagnosing dental pulp problems and performing root canals, and general dentists preparing teeth to be capped or crowned following this treatment.

What Does a General Dentist Do?

A general dentist is a primary care provider who treats dental needs for people of all ages. A general dentist is the overall provider for general, non-specialized dental care needs, including preventative care. They usually employ a dental hygienist who cleans patients’ teeth. They fill cavities, perform follow-up work on root canals, fit patients for crowns and bridges, and assess teeth and gums to see if a patient should visit a dental specialist such as an orthodontist, endodontist, or periodontist.

Endodontics VS General Dentist

These dentists also ensure that their patients receive proper dental education so that they take good care of their teeth throughout their lifetimes.

Their education is usually completed in dental school, where they receive either a DDS or DMD.

What Does an Endodontist Do?

Endodontists specialize in the dental pulp and nerves of the teeth. While they have a dental degree that family dentists also have, endodontists complete at least two additional years of specialized, post-doctoral training. Endodontists perform these therapies and treatments:

  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Root Canal Re-Treatment
  • Endodontic Surgery (called an Apicoectomy)

Endodontists also treat traumatic dental injuries and cracked teeth.

Benefits of an Using An Endodontist

If you need a root canal, root canal re-treatment, or surgery, it’s best to go to an endodontist. They’re root canal specialists. They concentrate on that one area, have greater knowledge and experience in that area, and have specialized equipment that make a patient’s care both efficient and comfortable. In fact, an endodontist may complete as many as 25 root canals every week.

Their equipment usually includes surgical operating microscopes, digital X-rays, electronic apex locators, electric hand pieces (which dulls the typical dental sound), and ultrasonic instruments. This equipment is important to complete every part of the root canal process. General dentists without this specialized equipment may take up to two hours to perform a root canal, but an endodontist can usually finish one in less than an hour.

Dr. Semashko of Endodontics in Cranberry has years of experience in performing pain-free root canals. Wexford and North Hills patients are welcome, as are folks who live anywhere around the Pittsburgh and North Pittsburgh area.

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