During the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans realized just how challenging it was to be unable to go to a hair salon. Hair grew long and untidy, color faded and grew out, and home haircuts highlighted the importance of getting regular attention from a properly trained person. You might wonder what this has to do with dental care, but it’s similar to consulting a general dentist for a root canal or other endodontic procedure. Just as your home haircut, while cheaper for you, could never resemble a professional job, getting specialized dental treatment from a non-specialist can have lasting bad results.
Here are the differences between endodontists and general dentists that you need to consider when choosing a provider.
The Cost Myth
One of the main reasons people choose to see general dentists instead of endodontists for their root canal is the cost, but this isn’t always as much of a saving as you might think. When you factor in the higher success rate and shorter treatment time (usually 1 hour) at the endodontist it starts to look like a pretty good value.
Some believe that taking the tooth out is a better option because of cost. While on the surface it might sound less expensive, it’s a fact that endodontic treatment and restoration of your natural teeth is more affordable overall than the alternative costs of extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant. Sure, you can get a partial denture or a fixed bridge, but neither of those options allows you the comfort and functionality you get from saving a natural tooth. You might avoid spending money in the short term, but it’s false economy if it ends up costing you more in the long run.
If you’ve ever met anyone who had a failed root canal, the chances are good you’ve heard a real horror story. While it’s entirely possible for many general dentists to perform very acceptable root canals, endodontists receive two to three years of additional education, specializing in studying dental pulp diseases and treatment. This advanced specialty program in endodontics is available only to students after completing four years of dental school.
Besides the extra education, endodontists have more experience, completing an average of 25 root canal treatments each week—compared with regular dentists who typically perform two. Endodontists don’t spend time cleaning or filling teeth. Instead, they focus on diagnosis and treatment of painful oral and facial conditions.
Technology is Tops
For general dentists who perform a couple of root canal treatments a week, it isn’t always feasible to invest in advanced technological tools. Endodontists who specialize in root canals are in a different position, however. The office typically has all the equipment and materials needed to make your treatment more comfortable. These include 3D digital imaging technology and operating microscopes to explore and treat the extremely complex root canal anatomy inside a tooth.
Pain Management Works
Many patients are terrified at the thought of having a root canal treatment. It’s no wonder they feel that way, given the stories of excruciating pain that so many people have experienced at the hands of dentists. Endodontists, however, are experts in administering sophisticated numbing techniques, which are usually successful even for patients who have difficulty getting and staying numb.
Regardless of who diagnoses your need for a root canal or other endodontic process, it’s your choice who carries out the treatment. Don’t let an inexperienced general dentist perform a procedure he or she is not entirely familiar with doing. Click here or call to schedule an appointment with our expert team of specialists at Professional Endodontics.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Hour Detroit Magazine’s Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clarkston, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
6803 Dixie Highway
Clarkston, MI 48346
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038
St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080