What Is the Difference Between an Endodontist and an Oral Surgeon?

oral surgeon reviewing scans

If you’ve ever had to visit a dental specialist, you may have been confused by the title of who is looking at your teeth. Are they an endodontist or oral surgeon? And what are the differences? Both deal with the mouth but play different roles in dentistry.

This article will explain what each of these specialists does so that if you ever need specific care beyond just a basic cleaning or checkup at the dentist’s office, you know the best trained option to choose.

What Is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental professional specializing in root canal treatment and performing all the related procedures, such as diagnosing and treating the pain caused by the infected pulp of a tooth. Endodontists are specially trained professionals with knowledge and understanding of treating teeth exposed to decay, trauma, or injury.

They complete an additional two or more years of rigorous training beyond dental school to obtain this high level of expertise. Working with dental health care teams, they offer long-term solutions, comfort, and relief from dental pain to help preserve the natural smiles of patients of all ages. Their work goes above and beyond typical general dentistry services and is critical for maintaining positive oral health.

Dental Procedures That Endodontists Perform

Below are some of the procedures endodontists typically perform:

  • Root canal therapy: When a tooth’s pulp becomes infected, endodontists use root canal therapy to remove the infected tissue and replace it with a filling or crown
  • Endodontic surgery (apicoectomy or root-end resection): Endodontists perform endodontic surgery to remove the end of the root
  • Treatment of cracked teeth: Endodontists can restore cracked teeth using specialized endodontic techniques
  • Post-placement and restoration: After endodontic treatment, endodontists may recommend post-placement and restoration of the tooth to ensure it remains healthy
  • Repair of existing endodontic treatments: If endodontic therapy is unsuccessful, endodontists can provide additional care to repair the existing endodontic treatment

What Is an Oral Surgeon?

Oral surgeons help maintain oral health and diagnose cases of oral disease. These professionals perform a wide range of procedures, from wisdom teeth removal to dental implants and reconstructive surgery.

To become an oral surgeon, one must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, then attend dental school for an additional four years. Afterward, further training of a few more years is required to become an accredited oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

With modern technology, oral surgeons provide preventive services and effective treatments in less time and with fewer side effects than in the past.

Choosing the right surgeon for your specific needs is important, as only experienced professionals can achieve successful outcomes through well-executed techniques.

Dental Procedures That Oral Surgeons Perform

Oral surgeons perform a variety of dental procedures, including:

  • Wisdom teeth removal: Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars at the back of your mouth. Oral surgeons can safely remove them, even when they are impacted or caused an infection.
  • Dental implants: Oral surgeons can place dental implants, which are artificial replacements for missing teeth.
  • Cleft lip and palate surgery: Sometimes, a cleft lip or palate can cause physical and social difficulties. Oral surgeons can repair these issues by reconstructing the tissue in the mouth to give patients a normal appearance and better oral health.
  • Jaw reconstruction: Oral surgeons can also correct jaw malformations and reconstruct the bones in the jaw for a better-looking, functional bite.
  • Facial trauma surgery: If an individual has experienced a traumatic injury to their face, oral surgeons can repair the damage and restore a normal appearance.
  • TMJ disorder treatment: A TMJ disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes dysfunctional. Oral surgeons can diagnose and recommend treatment options to alleviate the pain associated with this disorder.

The Difference Between Endodontists and Oral Surgeons

Endodontics and oral surgery are two specialties in dentistry, each with its unique set of procedures and techniques. Endodontists specialize in preserving teeth, saving as much natural tooth structure as possible by performing root canals or treatments on the soft inner tissue of the tooth.

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, act in instances where a tooth cannot be restored and must be removed. In addition to removing teeth and damaged or diseased material from the mouth, oral surgeons perform complex corrective jaw surgery when needed.

Both endodontists and oral surgeons are essential in providing high-quality dental care for their patients, ensuring they have healthy smiles throughout their lifetimes!

Final Thoughts

Endodontists and oral surgeons are two essential branches of the dental field, each with distinctive skill sets in specialized areas.

When choosing a dental professional for any procedure, it’s essential to choose an experienced specialist who can provide quality care. Endodontists and oral surgeons often work together on cases, utilizing their combined knowledge and experience to deliver successful treatment plans.

If you are looking for an oral surgeon for dental implants, wisdom tooth extraction or other oral surgery needs, trust the professionals at Green Valley Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center. Our team of experienced oral surgeons can provide the best possible care for your dental health needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services!