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Root Canals Overview

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canal treatment. Root canal, or endodontic treatment, is a procedure performed to remove damaged tissue from inside the root canals of a tooth. As a specialist, endodontists limit their practice to endodontic procedures.

Endodontists have advanced surgical and nonsurgical skills that make them uniquely qualified to treat routine as well as complex cases. The care that an endodontist provides is supported by intensive education on how to perform the very best endodontics. After completing dental school, endodontists attend a two- or three-year advanced dental school program that focuses only on endodontic science and procedures. Endodontists also attend continuing education courses after they are in practice, so they are knowledgeable about state-of-the-art research, clinical procedures, and technology. 

Although endodontists specialize in root canals, they are also trained to diagnose the source of what may be causing oral pain. These dentists deal with patients who:

  • have tooth/oral pain
  • have had oral trauma, such as getting a tooth knocked loose or out.

Natural teeth are best – it is far better to take care of a real tooth than to have it pulled. Having a root canal may be the key to keeping your natural tooth. Usually, when a patient needs a root canal, their general dentist will make a referral to an endodontist.



American Association of Endodontists

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Go to the Root Canals health topic.