Do you Choose A Dentist or an Endodontist ?

So, your dentist has told you that you need a root canal. Do you let him or her perform
the procedure or do you need an Endodontist, root canal specialist?

Before going any further, I need to let you know that I have worked for an Endodontist
for over eight years, so my advice will be biased toward Endodontists. But I have my
reasons, as I will explain.

What created the need for dentist Maple Ridge in the first place?

1. A toothache is an emergency that can be caused by a broken tooth or abscess.
This patient will need treatment immediately to control the pain, but your dentist has a
lot of patients and books a full schedule every day. He can refer this patient to an
Endodontist whose schedule is usually more accommodating and know that the patient
will be treated correctly.

A caring dentist knows that he/she cannot possibly accommodate all emergencies.
They develop a good working relationship with a local Endodontist as a way to offer
their patients immediate care. An Endodontist can also be a back-up source for the
dentist for vacation days, etc.

2. Root canals can take a lot of time for a dentist. This is a big point so listen
carefully. An Endodontist does a lot of root canals and has the procedure down pat.
For most patients, the less time spent in the dental chair, the better. My Endodontist
can do a molar root canal from start to finish in less than an hour for a normal tooth.

3. Note, I said ‘normal’? Teeth can have some funky configurations. Roots can curl
around each other, canals can be calcified, or a tooth may have more canals than
normal. An Endodontist has seen enough teeth to know what to look for and handle
any abnormalities your tooth may have, and in a reasonable amount of time.
For example:

a. I have known patients that have been in their dentist’s chair for hours for a root
canal. I remember one patient that claimed to be in her dentist’s chair for 8 hours, and
still ended up at the Endodontist for completion of the root canal.

b. I have known many patients that were referred to an Endodontist because the
dentist accidentally perforated the root trying to do a root canal. A perforation is when
the dental file punches a hole through the outside of the root. That’s not to say that
an Endodontist never makes this mistake, but it’s a whole lot less likely since they
handle these files day in and day out. They also have expertise and special materials
for repair of perforations.

c. I have know many many patients that had extra canals that the general dentist did
not see or treat causing the tooth to abscess afterward creating the need for a

d. I have known patients that had two of the canals treated by their dentist only to
find the third canal calcified, and had to be referred to an Endodontist to finish the
root canal. This is frustrating for the patient, to put it mildly.

When a dentist starts a root canal and cannot finish it, legally this tooth is considered
a re-treatment. Retreatments are more expensive than a regular root canal because of the specialized equipment, time and expertise required. Also, because the Endodontist
is treating a tooth that someone else has worked on, he is, in essence, accepting legal
responsibility for someone else’s work. More info: