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Root Canal Specialists Vs. General Dentists: Understanding The Difference

root canal

Do you know that every year, millions of teeth are given a new chance through the treatment of root canals? As we know that root canal is a treatment to repair and save a deeply decayed or infected tooth. Without this treatment, the tooth may need to be removed. But when you need a root canal, you might get confused about whether you should visit a general dentist or a root canal specialist.

Therefore, it is important that you understand the difference between root canal specialists (also known as endodontists) and general dentists to get the best care as per your needs. In this blog, we will discuss the dissimilarities between these two to help you choose the best option as this choice can really affect the future health of your tooth.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

As we discussed, root canal treatment is a procedure to repair your tooth, which involves removing the damaged area of the tooth, which is also called pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and then filling and sealing it. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia so you will not feel any pain during this treatment. However, it is important to know that some discomfort after the procedure is normal. After this treatment, the tooth is officially dead but it can stay in its place.

Also, a crown may be put over it to provide it with the necessary strength and protection. However, things are not over yet. Although this treatment has a high success rate but still, teeth with root canals can still get cavities or fractures. So good oral hygiene is important.

Many of us get these treatments, however, we are not sure from whom we should get it done, whether a usual dentist or someone with extra training like an endodontist (or root canal specialist).

General Dentist Vs. Root Canal Specialist

Now let’s discuss, who are general dentists and root canal specialists.

General dentists are the primary dental care providers for patients of all age groups. Basically, they are the first point of contact for people who are in need of preventive oral services like cleanings, X-rays, and oral exams. They are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage overall oral health care needs, including gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, and tooth extraction.

On the other hand, root canal specialists are dentists, who have received additional training to specialize in diagnosing and treating issues related to the inner tooth (also known as pulp) and surrounding tissues. They are officially called “Endodontists.”

Endodontists are experts in performing root canal treatments and also they use specialized techniques and equipments like microscopes and small instruments to access and treat the tiny root canal spaces. To become an endodontist, a dentist must complete an additional 2-3 years of advanced specialty education and training after dental school.

Now when you think about getting a root canal, your first consideration can be a general dentist. As they are widely known for these treatments and most tooth troubles. But when your oral health needs special attention or you are going for another root canal, then consulting a root canal specialist, or endodontist, is of great importance. So, while your general dentist can help with many things, a root canal specialist is who you might need for more complicated issues.

Selecting The Correct One As Per Health Needs

Choosing the best option as per your specific requirement is very important.

If a person has a minor dental issue, then even a general dentist would do great in that case, as they can handle a wide range of problems like cavities, teeth cleanings, gum issues, and simple tooth extractions. In short, general dentists can cover most of your routine dental needs as they can provide a simple and straightforward fix.

However, if a serious and more complex problem arises for your dental health, then consulting a specialist like an endodontist can be the next important step that you should take. Endodontists are experts in treating problems related to the inner part of the tooth and they can also provide specialized approaches in critical situations. They have gone through additional training focused solely on root canals. Their extra skills and knowledge make them super valuable for those tricky or detailed cases.

In short, your general dentist can take care of any routine procedure you require. However, a specialist is the most appropriate option for anything that requires a little more skill or knowledge.

Stratman Family Dentistry: Expert Care When You Need It Most

At Tucson, Arizona’s Stratman Family Dentistry, we recognize the importance and urgency of dental emergencies like root canals. Under the direction of Dr. Matthew Stratman, our team is committed to offering prompt, compassionate, and efficient care. Our goal is to ensure that you receive the help you require at the right moment. We can assist you if you have a dental emergency or are just looking for advice on how to prevent issues in the future. We can customize the services offered by our clinic to meet your specific needs, including scheduling an appointment for the same day you call us 520-745-6871 . With a staff that is prepared to step in and make a difference when it matters most, we are here to support your journey toward maintaining the health of your mouth.


As you know, choosing the best root canal specialist for the perfect treatment of your teeth is of utmost importance. At Stratman Family Dentistry, we provide top-notch services to our patients. We always try to make it convenient for you to get the help you require, with the right kind of skill and support you can count on. Whenever you are in a critical situation with your dental health, we are there to help. We want our compassionate, skilled staff to make an impression on you. We are here to keep your smile healthy and bright so that it can keep shining strong for a long time.