The days of endodontists limiting themselves to just doing root canals seems to be changing – some Phoenix endodontists have expanded their specialty practices to include retreating root canals that have become infected or developed complications, performing apico surgeries and surgically placing dental implants. Endodontists always work closely with the dentist who referred the patient to their practice.
“We often start a relationship when the dentist has an emergency and knows that an immediate referral is the best solution,” says Dr. Jacqueline Allen, from her Phoenix endodontic office. (She also practices from a Paradise Valley office). “The dentist’s need is one of trust and expertise, and that requires knowledge and good communication on our part,” she explains.
The common thread that runs from trust to expertise and communication is the patient, who often thought the dental visit was going to be routine, only to have the dentist explain that the tooth requires a more intricate procedure and needs an immediate referral to a specialist (endodontist).
The patient has three reactions almost simultaneously:
- How much will this cost?
- How long will this take?
- Will it hurt?
The dentist can make a smooth transition by choosing a knowledgeable endodontist. What does knowledgeable mean in today’s fast-changing office environment? “An endodontist has to be technologically up to date,” answers Dr. Allen. Cone beam computed tomography is a relatively new technology employed by well-trained endodontists “A CBCT contributes to a fast, accurate diagnosis is vital,” she adds. “And experience, having seen difficult and unusual situations, and being comfortable with problem solving–is also helpful,” she adds.
An endodontist who can calm an anxious patient, then explain the problem and offer clear solutions is a valuable asset to a dentist as well as to the patient.
“Whether it’s a complex retreatment of a root canal, an apico surgery or extraction followed by a dental implant placement, clear communication and doing what is best for the patient is the basis for long-term relationships,” Dr. Allen adds.