Oral discomfort due to an abscess, cracked tooth, or decaying pulp is one of the worst types of pain to endure. Endodontists specialize in saving teeth while eliminating the pain’s source. One way they can save teeth involves root canal procedures, which treat the soft pulp inside the tooth. Endodontists also specialize in replacing teeth which cannot be saved or which have been traumatically injured. Few things can bring your life to a halt like a sudden need for dental care—it’s important to know how to choose the right orthodontist to help you in a time of need.

If your general dentist says you need a root canal, it’s probably because one of your teeth has a problem involving its innermost structure—the pulp. Your dentist may suggest a specific endodontist, or simply ask you to find one within your insurance network. How do you choose one who’s going to best fit your personality and specific needs?

First, determine if the endodontic practice accepts your dental insurance. After that, education and qualifications represent the first hurdle in choosing between a few professionals. In addition to the four years at an accredited dental school required of all dental professionals, endodontists must complete two or more years of advanced education. This education must be at an institution with an American Dental Association accredited postdoctoral program which focuses on endodontic diagnosis, evaluation, problem resolution, analysis, and treatments. After completing these requirements, he or she may decide to also satisfy requirements for board certification from the American Board of Endodontics.

Next, carefully research how long each endodontist has been in practice, and learn about what amount of experience they have the procedure you’re planning to receive. Those with more work under their belt may be better able to handle potential complications arising from dental crowns, abscesses, poor patient health, or cracked teeth. The goal of the endodontist is to remove inflammation or infection that causes pain and threatens the integrity of your teeth. In treating this problematic source, they also strive to preserve as much of the tooth as possible.

Will you have to wait for your appointment? Usually if you’re referred to an endodontist, time is of the essence, especially if you’re suffering from acute oral pain. Look for an endodontic practice that understands this by offering great flexibility for emergency cases. Pain relieving medications may mitigate the discomfort, but you’ll need a permanent solution before you can get back to your life. Find an endodontist with a compassionate policy of minimizing treatment delays and relieving pain aggressively.

Does the endodontic practice use the latest equipment and technologies? Many endodontists use modern technology, such as digital imaging, fiber optics, operating microscopes, and ultrasonic instrumentation. Numerous endodontic therapeutic advances have become available in recent years, which benefit both the endodontist and patients.

Root canals and other endodontic surgical procedures are a fact of life for most people, especially as adults. Finding the right endodontist makes things a whole lot easier.