An Endodontist is a dentist that primarily specializes in the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any damage or injury to the tooth pulp as well as the tissue and nerves within and surrounding the root of a tooth that have become damaged or infected due to some type of bacteria.
Endodontist Job Responsibilities
An Endodontist’s specialized training allows for him or her to be able to perform many treatments including dental trauma, Endodontic treatment, and cracked teeth. Perhaps the procedure that an Endodontist is most recognized for is root canal therapy. Root canal surgery is recommended by a patients primary dentist in an attempt to save the impacted tooth and because of the specialized training that an Endodontist has, patients are typically referred to this specialist to have the procedure done.
Additionally, Endodontists also can prescribe to patients prosthodontic fixtures like dentures and implants. Oftentimes, these fixtures are created by the Endodontist and he or she will install them in the patients mouth and/or teach them the proper way to install the fixtures. Also, because an Endodontist has undergone the requisite dental training he or she can also perform routine dental procedures like teeth cleaning, extractions, and even bleaching. Needless to say the job responsibilities of an Endodontist are wide and varied.
Endodontist Training and Education Requirements
In the United States, it is required that all dentists be licensed in order to practice and in order to become licensed individuals must graduate from from a dental school that is accredited by the American Dental Association and pass any examinations associated with obtaining licensure. Before a student is admitted into a dental school, students must have a bachelors degree and applicants have to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). However in some special cases, a student will be admitted into dental school after securing 2-3 years of undergraduate study and will obtain their bachelor degree while in dental school. In order to excel at in dental school, it is recommended that students have undergrad degrees in such subjects as biology, chemistry, or some other science, although this is not necessary. Dental school lasts 4 years and an Endodontist must undergo an additional 2-3 years of training after successfully completing dental school. Currently there are over 50 different Endodontist schools in the United States, after successfully completing training the candidate will become eligible to sit for the American Board of Endodontology exam and once he or she successfully passes all requisite exams then he or she will be awarded a Diplomate status along with the degree of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).
Endodontist Salary and Wages
As with most careers, an Endodontist’s salary can be varied and takes into consideration a lot of factors including experience, location, and whether an Endodontist is self-employed and works in a private practice or if he or she is salaried and works for a hospital, family dental office, or the military. On average, according to Payscale, in October 2010, the average base salary range for an Endodontist was between $120,000 and $202,950. This does not include bonuses, which can be an additional $2,948 to $27,469 each year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Again, anyone who is interested in practicing dentistry must be licensed and in order to obtain licensure, the prospective candidate must be enrolled in an accredited dental school. This school must pass all of the stringent requirements of the American Dental Association. Upon completion of the classroom and lab portion of dental school, candidates must successfully pass all written and practical portions of the National Board Dental Examination. After the individual secures his or her degree in Dental Surgery (DDS) then they can apply to Endodontist school. To obtain board certification from Endodontist school, dentists have to apply to the American Board of Endodontology (ABE) and after all requirements are satisfied, then he or she is a Diplomate of the ABE and is able to legally practice.
Endodontist Professional Associations
There are several professional associations to which an Endodontist can be a member. One of the biggest associations that all dentists, no matter their specialization, are a member of is the American Dental Association (ADA) and is a leading association for professionals and the ADA also helps promote good oral health to the public as well.
The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) is a professional organization that was created exclusively for Endodontists. The AAE helps promote research and fosters ideas that encourage excellence in the field of Endodontics.
Academy of General Dentistry was organized to provide ongoing education for dentists. Again, since Endodonists primarily work with tooth pulp and root canals most days, it is important to stay abreast of other general dental procedures.
American Academy of Fixed Prosthdontics is a professional organization that fosters competency in the practice of crown and bridge prosthodontics as well as additional research in the field.