When you are trying to invest in something important – a car, say – it’s not enough to think about any type of motorized vehicle with four wheels that will get you from Point A to Point B. To get the best value for your money, you’ll have to think about how you live your life, what monthly payment you can afford, the size of your garage, and many other factors.
That same sort of individualized thinking comes into play when you have an infected or injured tooth and need to see a dental professional to fix it. You most likely will need an endodontist, a dentist who is a specialist in saving natural teeth. But there’s more to finding a good endodontist than just looking for the word in a practice’s name. Here are just a few qualities you’ll want to look for as you “comparison shop” for endodontists, to find the best specialist to work on your mouth.
Great Qualities Your Endodontist Should Have
- Specialized training. Endodontists receive two to three additional years of schooling after dental school, but because the field changes so rapidly, a commitment to continuing education is a must. Membership in an organization such as the American Association of Endodontists can indicate a practitioner is invested in remaining up to date on their education.
- A commitment to your comfort. Endodontists are experts at managing pain and discomfort, even for patients who have had challenges in this area in the past. A good endodontist will focus on your comfort level and seek to maintain or improve it throughout all procedures that are undertaken.
- Skill with current technologies. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionized root canal treatment in the past 30 years. An endodontist’s use of these tools can make your recovery from treatment quicker and help you experience less discomfort.
- A high experience level with endodontic procedures. General dentists perform, on average, two root canals per week; an endodontist may perform as many as 25. This translates into greater familiarity with different challenges and how to solve them.
- A wide network of professional colleagues. Collaborating with a network of general dentists, fellow endodontists and other dental specialists means your endodontist can accept and make referrals with ease if your case calls for one.
“As endodontists, we are committed to pursuing the education, collaboration and professional excellence it takes to properly care for our clients,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, a partner with the Phoenix Endodontic Group.