Do I Need a Referral for Endodontic Treatment?

Endodontic treatment Bowie, MD

Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment, can be done by both a general dentist and an endodontist. As the name suggests, endodontists are specialist dentists that treat problems affecting the inner tooth. This makes them more than qualified to perform all sorts of procedures on the inner tooth, including a root canal.

And yet, many general dentists also perform root canals, which begs the question, when should a general dentist perform a root canal and when should you, as a patient, get a referral to see an endodontist?

The answer comes as we cover a few basics.

What is root canal treatment?

To put it simply, a root canal is a dental procedure that removes dead or dying tissue in the inner tooth, while keeping the outer tooth intact. The point of endodontic treatment is to treat a tooth that is too far gone for other kinds of treatment. A root canal allows a patient to keep the outer part of their tooth, as opposed to having the tooth extracted.

This is a good thing since the patient is still able to smile and chew with the treated tooth. The tooth also keeps the rest of the person's teeth from shifting, like they would if it were extracted. So a root canal is a great way for a person to avoid the problems that come with a missing tooth, including expensive tooth replacement treatments.

What are the signs that a patient needs endodontic treatment?

Although it can be painless and sometimes, hard to notice, a dead or dying tooth often comes with symptoms that are hard to miss, such as:

  • Tooth discoloration behind the enamel that ends up looking like a dark shadow in the tooth
  • Excruciating pain if the dead or dying tooth is because of an infection
  • If the dead tooth is caused by an infection, a person may notice a bad smell coming from the tooth
  • Pus coming out of the tooth due to infection

Anyone who notices these symptoms should see a dentist immediately. Based on their findings, the dentist will either treat the tooth themselves or refer the patient to a specialist.

When does a patient need a referral?

A general dentist may choose to perform a simple or routine root canal. This implies that there are situations that will need the intervention of a specialist. Situations like:

  • A general dentist that chooses to refer all endodontic treatments to an endodontist
  • A patient that needs a second root canal on the same tooth after the first root canal failed
  • A person with complicated tooth anatomy that needs treatment from a specialist. Complicated tooth anatomy is a common reason why root canals fail the first time around
  • An insurer that requires that patients get a referral before they see an endodontist

A skilled dentist will guide you through treatment for your problem tooth

The role of a dentist is to make sure their patients get the highest level of care. For this reason, they will treat what they can and call in a specialist for matters that require their expertise.

Call our Bowie clinic to set up an appointment and get your problematic tooth treated, once and for all. Our endodontist has lots of experience performing root canals.

Let's get started…

Request an appointment here: https://www.gatewaydental.org or call Gateway Dental Dr. William Swann DDS at (301) 485-7492 for an appointment in our Bowie office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Improve Smiles

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing smiles while securing dental health. Each treatment in cosmetic dentistry aims to change your look and your outlook. With the help of your dentist, you can gain the benefits of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here are your cosmetic dentistry options if you want a brighter smile.Dental imperfections often darken and even…

How A Restorative Dentist Can Save Your Teeth

A restorative dentist can help to repair and rebuild structures in your mouth that oral problems have damaged. These dentists focus on restoring the function of damaged or lost teeth, improving your ability to chew and speak properly. Many restorative dental treatments also provide you with cosmetic benefits, so you get an improved smile in…

Invisalign Can Straighten Teeth Without Traditional Braces

Invisalign® treatment is an alternative to traditional braces for many patients who have a mild to moderate misalignment and want a more discreet way to straighten their smile and improve their jaw alignment. This review discusses Invisalign® in detail, contrasting it with traditional braces.Many people are choosing Invisalign over traditional braces due to the numerous…

3 Common Procedures A Restorative Dentist Can Use To Improve Your Smile

The services of a restorative dentist are vital for your oral health and your appearance. If you are unhappy with your smile, you can take comfort to know that help is available. When you go to the dentist’s office for treatment, there is a variety of options to restore your teeth. Your dentist will examine…

Recent Posts

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Improve Smiles

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures To Improve Smiles

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing smiles while securing dental health. Each treatment in cosmetic dentistry aims to change your look and your outlook. With the help of your dentist, you can gain the benefits of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Here are your cosmetic dentistry options if you want a brighter smile.Dental imperfections often darken and even…

How A Restorative Dentist Can Save Your Teeth

How A Restorative Dentist Can Save Your Teeth

A restorative dentist can help to repair and rebuild structures in your mouth that oral problems have damaged. These dentists focus on restoring the function of damaged or lost teeth, improving your ability to chew and speak properly. Many restorative dental treatments also provide you with cosmetic benefits, so you get an improved smile in…