When you need surgery on your mouth, many options for specialists are available. The type of specialist you’ll be referred to depends on the kind of surgery you need. Endodontists and oral surgeons are similar in that they both provide oral surgery. But there are many differences between the two. Knowing the differences between endodontists and oral surgeons will help you make an informed decision.
Deciding between an Endodontist and an Oral Surgeon
Endodontists generally perform preservative treatments through root canals and other surgeries. Root canals are used to correct diseased teeth. “Endodontist” originates from Greek words meaning “inside the tooth.” When an endodontist treats your teeth, they’re working on the internal spaces of the teeth.
Oral surgeons are trained to perform surgery on the mouth and face. To become an oral surgeon, they must complete four or more years of education to learn more about surgery. Their area of expertise is more comprehensive, and oral surgeons offer more options for facial surgeries. Knowing what each specialist excels in is the first step. But now you need to know what the surgeries they perform are:
- Apicoectomy: An endodontist performs this procedure. During an apicoectomy, the endodontist accesses inflamed tissue near the tooth’s root by making a small incision in the gums. The endodontist then removes the diseased part of the root and allows the jaw to heal around the wound with healthy tissue.
- Tooth Extraction: Oral surgeons perform extractions daily. Generally, the most prevalent type of extraction is removing your wisdom teeth. However, oral surgeons can remove any impacted or infected tooth.
- Implants: Oral surgeons can implant prosthetics fused to the jaw or skull. Dental implants are used to support crowns, bridges, and facial prostheses. They also act as orthodontic anchors.
Both specialists can operate on your teeth. Both are essential members of your dental team. However, endodontists perform small operations on the inside of your teeth. Oral surgeons focus on repairs and restorations across your entire face. Your timing is vital when deciding between an endodontist and an oral surgeon. What can start as a simple root canal can become an infection that requires an oral surgeon to repair if you wait too long. Extractions and implants are expensive when compared to root canals and endodontic procedures.
An endodontist can treat cracked and broken teeth if the injury isn’t severe. But if the crack extends beneath the gum line, you’ll need an oral surgeon to extract and replace the tooth. If the crack or break only affects the tooth’s surface, your endodontist can use a filling to restore the appearance of your tooth. Consulting your dentist is the only way to determine if your tooth is easily repaired.
The Endodontists and Oral Surgeons of McCartney Dental
If you notice a problem with your teeth, call McCartney Dental to make an appointment with a member of our staff. If you’re unsure what specialist you need, we can help you decide. The longer you wait to correct a tooth problem, the more likely you will need expensive, painful surgery.