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Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they've completed an additional two or more years of training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In the majority of cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment. For this reason, endodontists proudly refer to themselves as Specialists in Saving Teeth.

Endodontics is one of nine recognized of dental specialties. All specialists and dentists are partners in delivering optimal patient care. Endodontists are the specialists dentists consult for assistance in diagnosis and treatment planning, and to whom they frequently refer root canal and endodontic treatments. Endodontists are an essential part of the dental health team, playing a critical role in the delivery of quality care.

The American Association of Endodontists is dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care. The AAE is the leading source for endodontic continuing education and research. Members support and benefit from the AAE's ongoing efforts to advance the specialty.


  • Deliver the best outcomes with the highest rates of tooth survival.
  • Are focused on saving natural teeth as a priority.
  • Perform root canals almost exclusively (95% of what they do).
  • Are experts who diagnose, treat and relieve oral and facial pain.
  • Have specialized training in administering anesthesia.
  • Are trained in and use advanced technology (e.g., operating microscopes, rotary instrumentation, digital radiography, cone beam computed tomography).
  • Use microsurgical techniques to improve patient comfort and save natural teeth.


  • Are available on a consultative basis or when dentists need a second opinion.
  • Help dentists determine when to refer patients and can evaluate the difficulty level of individual cases.
  • Perform root canals and other endodontic treatment on patients referred.


  • Have the expertise to do everything from the most common to most complex root canals conservatively and predictably well, diminishing the need for retreatment.
  • Focus on saving the natural tooth. Tooth loss can lead to multiple problems over the long term (e.g., shifting teeth, follow-up visits to place and maintain prosthetics) as well as additional expense for the patient.
  • Provide patients with a solid foundation for crowns and other restorative work, reducing the likelihood of future complications and costs.
  • Are experts in diagnosing the disease of endodontic origin. Possible initial misdiagnosis can result in unnecessary additional dental procedures and costs.

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