How do I Choose the Best Root Canal Specialist?

Angela Crout-Mitchell

There are several factors to consider when choosing a root canal specialist including the dentist's experience, the patient's comfort level with the endodontist, and whether or not the office accepts the patient's insurance. It is the job of the endodontist specialist to provide adequate anesthesia, remove the pulp without damaging the tooth unnecessarily, and offer follow up care and recovery information. The root canal is located in the center of the tooth and is home to the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth. When the nerve is damaged or dies inside the tooth, it is necessary to remove the nerve in order to save the tooth. The alternative is to lose the tooth and have an artificial implant or other device installed.

Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.
Dentists use a root canal to remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth that has become diseased or infected.

Unless the need for a root canal is imminent, it is advisable to take some time choosing the most appropriate root canal specialist. Most experts suggest selecting a dental surgeon that has experience performing root canals on a variety of different patients. Each patient is unique, and it is not uncommon for a dentist to access the tooth nerve and discover an unforeseen complication. Experience is a vital tool for oral surgeons, as their prior experiences can be a huge aid in effectively handling complications. Most root canal doctors are more than happy to share information pertaining to their practice with potential patients.

Dental insurance may cover part of the expenses associated with a root canal.
Dental insurance may cover part of the expenses associated with a root canal.

Many people prefer to choose a root canal specialist they feel comfortable with. Bedside manner is very important in relation to root canals, as most patients are often nervous about the procedure and may be experiencing severe pain as well. The simplest way to determine doctor-patient compatibility is to interview with a variety of endodontists and determine which one is the most personable. Potential patients can also find reviews of the dentist's previous work online or through contacting people listed on the referral list.

In most cases, root canal procedures are expensive and the majority of people prefer to be able to use their dental insurance to cover at least part of the expenses. Patients may call the endodontist's office directly and inquire about the insurance plans they accept or contact the insurance company for a list of acceptable providers. If the patient has no dental insurance or prefers to work with a specific root canal specialist out of network, some dental clinics offer financial payment plans if necessary. Some clinics may request the total amount due before any work is done.

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Discussion Comments


I think experience and equipment are the most important factors when selecting a root canal specialist.

I had my root canal done by a not so experienced root canal dentist who did not have all of the equipment he should have had. Of course I didn't know this at the time. I just wanted my pain to stop and went to the first specialist I found.

A week after my root canal, I was crying from pain and went to another specialist that a relative of mine recommended. This specialist was awesome. She had a lot of experience and advanced equipment. She used a very cool microscope tool to look inside my tooth and found an infected nerve that the previous specialist had missed. She removed it, flushed my tooth out, packed it with antibiotics and placed my permanent filling and crown a few weeks later.

I have not had any issue with that tooth since and it has been three years, knock on wood.


@fify-- Does the root canal specialist you're being sent to have enough experience and a good rapport with his patients? If you have the opportunity to ask around about the specialist, definitely do that.

If you don't feel good about it, feel free to look for your own. Look for a specialist that has good reviews from patients. But make sure that you're insurance will be accepted.


My dentist doesn't want to do my root canal therapy and is sending me to a specialist. Should I just go with the specialist that he's sending me to or should I look for my own?

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