What is endodontics?

Endodontics, often referred to as a root canal in layman's terms, is a procedure performed when a tooth has an infection on the roots. To save the tooth without extraction, a root canal is done. This involves cleaning out the roots and sealing them, thereby preserving your tooth.

Why did my dentist refer me to an endodontist?

Dentists often refer patients to endodontists for root canal procedures, as this is their area of specialization. Especially when dealing with molars that have multiple roots or canals, things can get complicated. Hence, your dentist's assessment may be that you're better off having the procedure done by a specialist. This typically makes the process faster and easier for you.

What is the difference between an endodontist and a general dentist?

While a general dentist can perform a variety of procedures, an endodontist specializes in root canals. Given their specialization, they are able to perform these procedures more quickly and efficiently.

What procedures are done by an endodontist?

Endodontists primarily perform root canals, which involve cleaning and sealing the canal to eliminate infection or drain any abscess. Another procedure is the apicoectomy, which addresses the tip of the roots where infection may be present, and which may not be accessible via a root canal.

Can an endodontist pull a tooth?

Typically, endodontists prefer to perform a root canal rather than extract a tooth. However, if a tooth, like a wisdom tooth, is in an inaccessible area and requires extraction, another specialist would likely be involved.

How does an endodontist determine if you need a root canal?

Endodontists use several methods to determine if a root canal is necessary. If a tooth is infected and causing pain, an x-ray will be done to confirm the presence of an abscess on the roots. Endodontists also use a pulp tester to determine whether a tooth is still alive. Additionally, specialized x-rays may be used to view a tooth in sections.

Does my insurance cover endodontal procedures?

Usually, insurance covers a certain percentage of endodontic procedures or root canals, which some insurances consider as major procedures. Some insurance policies may require a waiting period when you first get your insurance, but most of the time, these procedures are covered to a certain extent.