Ask a Dentist

June 3, 2022

Q: What Is An Endodontist?

Male dentist with magnifying glasses and light looking from above at patient

If your tooth needs to be saved with a root canal treatment, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist. Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth – they care for a tooth’s pulp, roots and nerves. They have advanced dental training and specialized techniques to help maintain a person’s natural smile for a lifetime. On average, endodontists spend an extra two years in dental school to hone their craft. 

What Do Endodontists Do?

An endodontist specializes in treating the inside of the tooth. Their main goal is to save the tooth instead of removing it. Here’s an overview of the type of dental procedures an endodontist performs and what to expect:

Root Canal Treatment

During a root canal, anesthetics are administered to prevent pain, then the infected nerve of the tooth and dental decay is removed. The hole is filled with a special material called Gutta Percha. In some cases, if a root canal is unsuccessful and retreatment isn’t possible, your endodontist will recommend an apicoectomy, a surgical procedure that may save the tooth. 


During this endodontic procedure, the infected areas and the tip of the root will be removed through surgery. Then, the hole is cleaned and sealed with a filling. Your endodontists will place a few stitches or sutures to help your mouth heal. Most patients will be able to perform everyday activities the next day. 

When Should I See An Endodontist?

The American Association of Endodontists notes that around 60 to 82 per cent of dental emergencies are endodontic-related. 

Speak to your dentist to see if you need to go to an endodontist, especially if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Tooth pain, perhaps after a tooth injury
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
  • Swelling around your gums, teeth and face
  • Tenderness, pus or discolouration in or around a tooth

Remember, if you’re unsure whether you need treatment, you can book a checkup with your dentist and they will help determine your treatment options with you. Are you experiencing ongoing tooth and mouth pain? Schedule an appointment with Dental Image Therapy Centres today. We’re conveniently located at Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre.

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