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How to Become an Endodontist

Published on: Mar 13, 2023


How to Become an Endodontist

What Does an Endodontist Do?

An endodontist is a dentist with specialized training in endodontics, which focuses on treating tooth pain and problems in the tooth root. Endodontists perform tooth extractions, root canals, dental implant surgeries, and other procedures that treat the pulp and root and reduce pain. According to the American Association of Endodontists, less than three percent of dentists choose this specialty.

What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Endodontist?

Unlike general dentists who perform preventive care and routine procedures like cleanings and fillings, endodontists focus on diagnosing and treating tooth pain while preserving the natural tooth whenever possible. While general dentists perform about two root canals per week, endodontists do an average of 25 weekly. In addition to completing four years of dental school, endodontists receive two or more additional years of training. They study techniques for diagnosing dental pain and identifying the complex issues affecting the internal health of teeth. They also learn to perform root canals, oral surgery, and other procedures.

How to Become an Endodontist

Becoming an endodontist involves several steps, including earning a bachelor’s degree and completing four years of dental school. After earning a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), prospective endodontists must pass the Integrated National Board Dental Examination, which the American Dental Association (ADA) administers. The exam includes a written and a clinical part. After getting a license, the next step is completing a two-year endodontic residency program. Residents get clinical and hands-on training in diagnosing tooth pain, treating gum disease, treating pediatric patients, treating traumatic injuries, and providing other endodontic care. Most residents complete an independent research project toward the end of their residency and sit for board certification. The most successful endodontists get fulfillment from helping people maintain good oral health. If you are considering a career in endodontics, hone your skills in communication, detail orientation, and hand-eye coordination. Other essential abilities include manual dexterity, critical thinking, making quick decisions, and developing positive relationships with clients.

How to Find Employment as an Endodontist

As the official job board of the ADA, the ADA CareerCenter is the top resource for endodontists and other dental care providers seeking employment. You can search for job openings for endodontists, oral surgeons, general dentists, and other specialists. Dental practices also use ADA CareerCenter to recruit qualified professionals for employment.