An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal therapy. Their training will be equivalent to that of a dentist, with an extra tier: endodontists typically study for 2 to 3 additional years. They train in pain diagnosis and pain management, and have their own governing body—the American Association of Endodontists.
Root canals have advanced significantly over the years and are considered routine. But it’s still a delicate procedure, and you want an experienced and specialized set of hands. An endodontist will have performed thousands of these procedures before yours. Many of them work on referral, and receive patients from general dentists.
Root canals are delicate procedures because of the complexly branching nature of tooth roots. A lot of thorough excavation is required to pronounce the site minimally free of infection. The specialist must also be careful not to nick a nearby ligament, as this can cause undue patient discomfort.
Endodontics is as much about aftercare as it is about cleaning and replacing infected tissue. Endodontists refer to themselves as “the teeth savers”. Some education is part of this, as our endodontist in Los Angeles is always eager to help patients take better care of their existing teeth going forward.