What Is an Endodontist vs Dentist? Our Guide

In medicine, there are numerous different specialties that manage your overall health.  You typically work with your Primary Care Provider.  If you have a complex issue, you often get referred to a specialist.  

Dentistry is no different.  You see your General Dentist most often.  If they notice a problem that requires more advanced care, they may refer you to a specialist.  The different specialties can be confusing.  We have created this guide on endodontist vs dentist to help you.

Endodontist vs Dentist: The Major Differences

Understanding what separates an endodontist from a general dentist is important.  

Your General Dentist does your oral exams, cleaning, cavities, crowns, and helps replace missing teeth.  Some General Dentists also do root canal treatments.  

An Endodontist is a dentist whose main focus is root canal treatments.  Endodontists have years of additional specialty training and equipment.  With their primary focus on doing root canal treatments, they often have a vast amount of experience in that procedure.  

Internal vs External Tooth Care

The focus of your General Dentist is to ensure your overall oral health.  They do frequent oral exams to detect oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease.  They are the experts in restoring or replacing teeth.  They help you maintain a healthy mouth with preventive care.  They can also give you a beautiful smile with the latest techniques in esthetics.  

The focus of your Endodontist is on managing pain and infection coming from the inside of the tooth.  Your General Dentist might suspect an infection if you complain of pain and swelling.  Sometimes, you can have a serious infection and not have any signs or symptoms at all.  Your General Dentist just might notice a potential abscess on an x-ray.  Regular x-rays from your General Dentist are very important in detecting these “silent infections.”

An Endodontist can effectively manage your pain and infection.  This often means that your tooth can be saved instead of extracted.

Extra Training for Endodontists

Both endodontists and dentists go to dental school after obtaining their undergraduate degrees.  After dental school, General Dentists often move directly into practice.  An Endodontist is a General Dentist who continues their training for an additional 2-3 years.  This often occurs after the General Dentist has acquired several years of clinical experience and returns to a residency.  The focus of their specialized training is on managing tooth pain and infections.  The endodontist’s main role is performing root canal treatments.  The extra training and experience make Endodontists uniquely qualified for this complex procedure.

Endodontist Technology for Improved Outcomes

Endodontists have access to the latest technology.  These specialists perform many more root canals than the average dentist, so they can invest in the latest equipment designed to improve outcomes.  Lowry Endodontics is one of the most technologically advanced practices in the country. 

We have the world’s most powerful dental operating microscope.  It allows us to see and treat things that can often be missed.  The main reason Dr. Karmali has to retreat root canals done elsewhere is that canals or anatomy have been missed.  The microscope also helps in managing calcified canals and cracked teeth.  

Lowry Endodontics has a high-resolution CBCT.  This special type of CT scan allows Dr. Karmali to evaluate your tooth 3 dimensionally and in very fine detail.  This helps in determining the cause and extent of your problem.  It leads to more accurate diagnoses and more conservative treatment approaches.  

Dr. Karmali incorporates a powerful dental laser in all of his treatments.  The laser allows for very thorough and efficient disinfection of the inside of your tooth.  

This investment in technology helps to provide you with highly successful treatment with the fewest complications possible.

The Most Advanced Endodontic Techniques

The methods employed by endodontists also differ widely.  Their treatment philosophies can be very different.  

Dr. Karmali’s philosophy is to provide a treatment that is both successful and highly conservative.  He was instrumental in developing the minimally invasive methods used today.  He lectures internationally on providing this type of conservative care.  

The process starts with determining if root canal treatment is even needed.  If simpler treatment options are available, they should be explored.  If root canal treatment is needed, it will be done in a way that retains the strength of the tooth while thoroughly managing the complex internal anatomy.  After treatment, the tooth is then restored to maximize the remaining strength.  

Dr. Karmali is constantly bolstering his knowledge and refining the latest endodontic treatment methods. He shares his experience openly by lecturing around the world on conservative endodontic diagnosis and treatment.  He has served as the president of the International Academy of Endodontics.  Through constant growth, Dr. Karmali utilizes the most innovative methods to help his patients see better outcomes and experience less pain.

Reduced Pain and Infections from Endodontists

Nobody wants a bad root canal.  Endodontists are highly skilled in doing your procedure painlessly.  With careful treatment, post-operative discomfort is usually mild to non-existent.  

If bacteria is left inside the tooth, or leaks into the tooth, an infection can persist.  Endodontists have the equipment, experience, and training to reduce the risk of your treatment failing from a persisting infection.  If you do have a persistent infection, the root canal treatment can often be done again to save your tooth.  A large part of Dr. Karmali’s practice centers around retreating teeth with previous root canals.  Oftentimes, the infection persists because anatomy inside the tooth has been overlooked.  

Endodontist vs Dentist: Scheduling Visits

Having contact information for both an endodontist and a dentist is important for maintaining dental health. However, patients must also know when to call each for an appointment.

When to See a Dentist

Dentists specialize in preventative care. Therefore, you should see your dentist at least twice a year for exams and cleanings. Additionally, you should see a dentist if you have a lost filling or crown, or if you have unusual pain in a tooth. During your appointment, the dentist may diagnose an issue that requires additional care, such as root canal therapy.

When to Schedule a Visit with an Endodontist

Patients who need root canal treatment or root canal retreatment can see an endodontist.  A referral from your General Dentist is not always required.  While a referral from your General Dentist is one way to see an Endodontist, patients can also refer themselves.

If you seek a second opinion, Lowry Endodontics welcomes you.  Many teeth are recommended for extraction that can be predictably saved.  With advanced equipment, much more is possible today than ever before.

Endodontist vs Dentist: Root Canals and Endodontic Care

Endodontists work hard to save your teeth.  Root canal treatment is a highly complex procedure that requires a deft hand, expert techniques, and the latest technology to maximize the odds of a positive outcome.

Root Canal Specialists can offer high-tech equipment and the latest techniques.  Less pain and complications are often the end result. If you are concerned about pain during treatment, discuss your concerns with Dr. Karmali.  Reducing your anxiety and keeping you comfortable during treatment is important and achievable.  Compassionate quality care is what we stand for. 

Schedule a Visit with Lowry Endodontics for Cutting-Edge Techniques and Technology to Save Your Tooth

At Lowry Endodontics in Denver, Colorado, we provide a very high level of specialty care.  We can offer you highly predictable outcomes while minimizing complications.  For more information or to make an appointment, contact us at Lowry Endodontics.