If you require a root canal treatment you may be given the choice between getting the root canal done at a dentist or at an endodontist. Here are some of the reasons it may be a better idea to have a root canal done at an endondontist rather than a dentist.
You have a complex root canal that needs treatment
If you have had long term issues with this tooth, including recurrent infection or a complicated root structure, you may prefer to have the tooth treated by an endodontist. Endodontists perform root canals more regularly and have an additional two years of training in performing complex procedures. As a result they tend to have a higher success rate, particularly on complex treatments that may be generally more likely to fail. It's important to recognise when asking of the individual failure rates of dental or endodontic practices that the more complex and failure prone cases tend to be referred to endodontists so the rates are not directly comparable.
You have a history of failed root canals
If you have had previous root canal treatments that have failed on other teeth, it can be advisable to get an endondontist to perform the treatment on this tooth. Due to their higher levels of experience and training they may be able to avoid this root canal treatment failing. This can also help you to feel more relaxed about getting the treatment done as many patients who have a complicated dental history have understandable anxiety about this treatment.
You have other health issues
A range of other health issues can make it advisable to have a specialist involved in the treatment. This can include diabetes, which can easily lead to poor healing of gums and surrounding mouth tissue as well as blood disorders such as leukaemia or HIV. An endodontist can minimise the chances of the infection spreading and ensure that the root canal is performed as quickly as possible. By quickly completing the treatment, and taking appropriate medications before the root canal starts, side effects can be minimised.
The majority of root canals can be resolved smoothly with minimal complications and discomfort. However if you have a complex dental or medical history, or require a more challenging treatment it can be sensible to have an endodontist perform the treatment. Their higher levels of training and extra experience can be extremely useful in resolving trickier root canal treatments.