JM

From just the standpoint of the outcome of the work performed, it's easy enough to assume that your case is in more predictable hands with an endodontist.

An endodontist has all of the same training as a dentist, plus at least two additional years of schooling/clinical work concerning just root canals. Plus in their practice that's the only kind of treatment they preform, for years on end. It's hard for a general dentist to compete with those credentials.

As an example and as we discuss above, seemingly the success rate of molar treatment by general dentists and endodontists is similar. However, since it's expected that endodontists are generally referred comparatively more difficult cases, one could speculate that if given the same population of teeth to work on that the success rate of treatment by specialists might be even higher.

That by no means is to say that a general dentist can't provide expert care or that all teeth require a specialist's level of skill. But it is fair to say that a general dentist might not have the expertise or equipment to be able to recognize when the task at hand lies beyond their capabilities. Or a general dentist may discover this fact in the middle of treatment, when the issue of referral becomes more complicated.

We'd generally have the opinion that when it comes to root canal treatment the best shot should be taken first. Beyond just the issues associated with dealing with treatment failure, the expertise with which the tooth's original treatment was performed (or lack thereof) can affect the outcome of retreatment.

Having said all of that, in real life issues like cost, endodontist availability, patient convenience, insurance coverage, etc... certainly all come into play too. And most certainly they may affect what is determined to make a reasonable choice.

With your situation, express your concerns to your dentist. Ask if there are any issues about your case that might suggest that treatment by a specialist might be needed.

It's their professional obligation to you to explain all of your treatment options to you, and that includes who might make the best choice for treating your case. Good luck.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Please answer the question so we know you're a human.