What Is an Endodontist, Anyway?

In the medical world, complicated industry jargon gets thrown around like water balloons at a kids birthday party.  No one knows what mark they’re trying to hit, it’s just fun to throw.  And while it may seem that the plethora of titles and terms used in medicine are just there for fun, there actually is meaning and purpose behind each one.  

However, we understand for those that are not immersed in the world of medicine, medical terms and titles can sound a bit like Greek.

Come to find out, a lot of them are!  Greek, that is.

Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “What is an endodontist, anyway?”


What is an endodontist?

The word “endodontic” comes from the Greek word “endo” meaning inside and “odont” meaning tooth.  Endodontic means literally “inside the tooth”.  So, what is an endodontist?  Quite simply, endodontists are specialists trained to handle issues concerning the inside of the tooth or the nerve area.  

“Okay, well what does that mean?” you may ask.  Let’s break it down a little further.

What does an endodontist do?

 Efficiently diagnoses dental/facial pain

Your local endodontist is an expert at diagnosing dental pain even when it may present itself as face pain through the head, neck, or ear.  In fact, many general dentists will consult an endodontist for advice and treatment suggestions.  For more severe root damage, most dentists will actually refer you to an endodontist, as these specialized dentists are prepared to handle much more complex dental issues involving root damage.  

 Repairs Traumatic Dental Injuries

An endodontist specializes in treating traumatic injuries that involve pulp damage.  This type of injury is common in children, athletes, and generally active individuals because it is often caused by a blow to the mouth.  When this occurs in children, the damaging force can cause the root of the tooth to stop growing.  Endodontists can skillfully perform a procedure called “apexification”.  This procedure stimulates bone to be deposited at the end of the root, making it possible to save the tooth through endodontic treatment (root canal procedure).  

 Specializes in Endodontic Treatment (Root Canal)

One of the primary procedures that an endodontist will perform is the root canal procedure, also known as endodontic treatment.  Root canals are necessary when infection is present in the pulp or nerve area of a tooth.  Infection can be caused by many different things, but most often the avenue of treatment is a root canal.

While root canals have acquired a reputation of being a pain-filled procedure, in reality they are no more painful than having a filling placed.  The pain often associated with root-canals is caused by the infection, which is immediately relieved with an endodontic treatment.  
While your general dentist is able to perform a root canal, the very definition of an endodontist dictates that they have had 2-3 years more of schooling and training to ensure greater success in the procedure.

Why Is an Endodontist Important?

Still asking, “Is an endodontist necessary?”  

Take a look at these quick facts about endodontists from the AAE:

  • Endodontists perform 25 root canal treatments each week; general dentists perform fewer than 2
  • Nearly half of people surveyed would prefer root canal treatment by a specialist
  • 89% of patients are satisfied after root canal treatment by an endodontist
  • 94% of dentists have positive or very positive perceptions of endodontists and the care they provide
  • General dentists refer about half of their root canal cases to an endodontist
  • 9 out of 10 dental educators would seek root canal treatment from an endodontist

So, then the question must be asked, “Why chose Penn Dental Medicine for my endodontic treatment?”

Perhaps you simply happened onto this site wondering “What is an endodontist, anyway?”.  Or possibly you are in need of endodontic treatment, but concerned about the high sticker tag attached to many endodontists offices.  As a money savvy person, you’re interested in finding ways to save, but of course, not at the expense of your teeth!  

Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) provides the perfect fit for you.  As one of the top dental schools in the nation, PDM boasts the experience and wisdom of the nation’s leading dental care providers.  The dental educators that are standing behind each student dentist in the Penn Dental Medicine practice, are, hands down, the best available.  While your care is being administered by a well-trained student, their hands and minds are being guided by the most experienced doctors in the nation’s dental care.  You are literally “one step away from the nation’s top dentists”, including specialized dentists, such as endodontists.  

At Penn Dental Medicine, you receive the specialized endodontic care you need, backed by the best in the industry, all while paying a discounted price.

Call us today at 215-898-8965 to schedule your initial appointment, or contact us online for your scheduling needs.

Come meet our Endodontists.  

Schedule an appointment today or call 215-898-8965!

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