A general dentist is a primary dental provider. They offer services such as:
Some general dentists also offer cosmetic services like teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. Dentists earn a bachelor’s degree and then attend at least four years of dental college before they can practice. Their education allows them to perform preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures. They can also prescribe certain medications and diagnose some conditions.
Your general dentist is the dental provider you’ll see most often (hopefully, at least twice a year). The goal of your primary dentist is to prevent dental diseases, provide early detection of diseases, and provide an early diagnosis of dental issues.
If your dentist discovers a problem—such as impacted teeth or a tooth infection—they’ll refer you to a dental specialist. In these cases, the referral may be to an oral surgeon or an endodontic specialist.
An endodontist is a dentist specializing in endodontics, a branch of dentistry that deals with diseases and injuries of the soft tissues within a tooth (the pulp). To become an endodontist, a person must complete four years of undergraduate studies, four years of dental school, and two to three years of specialized endodontic training and residency.
When patients experience a toothache, their general dentist will evaluate the tooth using several tests and digital X-rays. If they diagnose an infected pulp, they’ll refer their patient to us for treatment. But endodontists don’t just perform root canal therapy. We also help dentists diagnose and treat complex dental cases, including root canal retreatment and root surgery.
Many patients will likely never need an endodontist, but those who do can trust they’ll receive treatment from someone with a wide range of knowledge, experience, and expertise.
treatment from someone with a wide range of knowledge, experience, and expertise.
Dentists and endodontic specialists must communicate openly and regularly to fully benefit the patients in their care. Working in tandem provides patients with more comprehensive and effective treatment. Additionally, combining our expertise can result in better treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Still, another benefit is reduced treatment time and costs. Collaboration between general dentists and endodontists can help prevent complications. That, in turn, can help patients save time in the dental chair and money in the long run.
Two examples of when a general dentist might work with an endodontist are:
Let’s say a patient calls their dentist because they’re experiencing tooth pain. The dentist will first ask the patient some questions, including:
Then, the dentist will perform some tests and take at least one X-ray. If they find an abscess and their tests point to a tooth infection, they’ll refer the patient to an endodontist. The endodontist will further evaluate the tooth to determine the patient’s treatment needs, communicating those needs with the dentist every step of the way.
Once treatment is complete, the endodontist will let the dentist know and inform them which restorative or prosthetic treatment option is best.
Another example of dentist-endodontist communication is with a new or reestablishing patient. In these circumstances, the patient may have gone without dental care for years, in which case they might need services from various providers, including an endodontist.
The general dentist will refer the patient to a specialist like Renovo Endodontic Studio. Then, an oral evaluation will be performed, and an endodontic specialist will examine the patient’s X-rays. From there, a custom treatment plan can be created that aligns with the general dentist’s action plan.
Above all else, the team at Renovo values being on the same page as dentists to fully address the patient’s needs and concerns. The dentist knows their patient well and can inform us of any special needs, such as sedation therapy for patients with dental phobia.
Additionally, our team and the general dentist can work with the patient’s doctor to preserve the patient’s overall health. For example, patients taking certain medications may need their doctor’s approval to stop taking them before endodontic treatment.
When healthcare professionals communicate and work together well, it can only benefit the patient.
Phone and email are the most common forms of communication between healthcare professionals. However, some digital dental charts allow doctors to communicate via in-chart messages. Every dentist involved in the patient’s care can see the patient’s digital X-rays and specific test results.
Additionally, there’s the good old-fashioned lunch meeting that allows dental professionals the opportunity to discuss patients’ treatment plans thoroughly. These in-person meetings also allow the individuals to get to know each other better so they can collaborate more often and communicate more effectively.
Collaboration between general dentists and our Renovo team isn’t just about forging a healthy partnership. It’s about a shared commitment to the well-being of our patients. When dentists and endodontists collaborate, they can bring their years of knowledge, experience, and expertise together for the good of their patients—and the good of the patient is everyone’s responsibility and goal.
Discover a diverse team dedicated to patient well-being. Contact Renovo Endodontic Studio today!