There are many specialists in the field of dentistry, which can be confusing at times. Each specialist has expertise in a certain area beyond the field of general dental services. Therefore, when you need care for a particular problem, you may find yourself comparing a prosthodontist vs endodontist—understanding what each of these professionals does can make it easier to recognize when you may need one or the other. At Innovative Endodontics, we’ve created this breakdown of the differences between these dental specialists.
Prosthodontists and endodontists are both dental specialists which have full dental degrees and additional training focused on an area of expertise. Typically, your general dentist will provide the majority of your dental care, but they may enlist the help of one or both of these specialists depending upon the scope of your needs.
A prosthodontist specializes in helping people who have lost teeth or need restorative dental services. These services help patients who require repairs of existing teeth or need options to replace extracted teeth. The prosthodontist will examine the patient to determine the best choices for dental repairs or replacements based on the health of the jaw and other teeth.
A prosthodontist is a professional who works to help people restore their smiles after losing teeth or having teeth repaired. For example, prosthodontists may place crowns or caps on teeth after getting root canal treatment on them. When the patient’s tooth cannot be saved through endodontic care, a prosthodontist can help extract the tooth and find a replacement option for the patient.
Examples of replacements for missing teeth include fitting patients with bridges or dentures. For a permanent option, patients may choose implants. Dental implants require surgery, which the prosthodontist can perform. Implants may also serve as anchors for bridges or dentures in some cases.
You may need to see a prosthodontist if the treatment plan to restore your smile is more advanced or complex. A prosthodontist often works with dentures, implants, crowns, and bridges or a combination of these.
An endodontist specializes in root canal therapies. The Root Canal treatment clears infection from inside a tooth and seals the tooth against future inflammation and infection. An endodontist’s other types of care include endodontic retreatment and root-end surgery.
In addition to these services, endodontists have training in pain prevention to ensure improved comfort for their patients. Pain management is important for endodontists because they work close to the root nerves. In fact, today’s endodontists perform root canal treatments with as much or less pain than tooth fillings.
Your dentist will refer you to an endodontist if you have decay in a tooth that impacted the tooth’s interior. Infection or inflamed tooth pulp requires root canal treatment for removal. Additionally, you may need an endodontist if you experienced a cracked tooth or a tooth that became reinfected after a root canal.
Surgery to repair damaged tooth roots is another procedure that you may require from an endodontist. Again, your dentist will know whether to refer you to an endodontist based on their examination of your teeth and x-rays.
Another dental professional with a name similar to a prosthodontist is an orthodontist. People often get confused between a prosthodontist vs an endodontist. This expert helps to correct dental alignment. Most commonly, patients see an orthodontist for teeth straightening with braces or aligners. As noted, endodontists help to preserve natural teeth by treating the interior root canals or performing surgery. There may be instances when a patient needs both teeth straightening from an orthodontist and root canal therapy or surgery from an endodontist.
Generally, when choosing between a prosthodontist and an endodontist, you will use the referral given to you by your dentist. They will be able to recommend the best expert for the specialist care that you need. For example, if you need a root canal treatment, you may get a referral to an endodontist. And, if you require a smile reconstruction and implant, you will have a referral to a prosthodontist. However, there are instances when circumstances may change.
In some cases, you may get a referral to one specialist but need another. For instance, a dentist may refer you to an endodontist for a root canal. However, if you wait too long, the infection could spread, requiring dental extraction instead of nonsurgical root canal treatment.
They can also help you to decide if you want an implant to replace the lost tooth. If so, you will need to return to the prosthodontist for the surgeries to have the implant’s components placed as a permanent replacement for the pulled tooth.
If you have a referral to an endodontist, connect with us at Innovative Endodontics. Prosthodontist vs Endodontist, we can help with both. We provide endodontic services and are working diligently to change the reputation of root canals to those in the Charleston, SC, area. Trust us to provide you with quality endodontic care, help preserve your teeth, and ensure that you have a comfortable experience throughout. Contact us today to set up your visit with us at Innovative Endodontics.