Looking for more information on a root canal procedure? According to WebMD, a root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. While many people who hear this term automatically associate it as a painful dental procedure, new and improved dental technologies make this common…
Do I Need a Referral to See an Endodontist?
If someone suggests to you that you need to see an endodontist, you must have a severe condition. A general dentist provides overall oral health care and treats moderate conditions. An endodontist has additional knowledge and training of the tooth’s roots and pulp. Before you make an appointment to see this dentist, you should consider whether you need a referral to go.
Differences between the endodontist and the general dentist
Every single endodontist is a dentist. This person has finished four years of college, followed by four years of dental school. A general dentist follows the same pattern. However, an endodontist takes two or three years of more classes, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of interior tooth diseases. A general dentist conducts normal checkups and cares for the overall function and appearance of the teeth. Someone in endodontics works on what is going on inside the tooth. Both can perform root canals, though the endodontist has spent more time doing this procedure.
Getting a dentist’s recommendation
Many patients do not think about visiting an endodontist on their own. Often, it is the family dentist who suggests this need and directs the person accordingly. A patient may come to the dentist’s office complaining of tooth pain. After an examination, the dentist may determine that the root or pulp damage is too extensive for their training or comfort level. In this case, the dentist may refer the patient to an endodontist in the area or one that the office has worked with before.
Skipping the recommendation
There is no reason anyone should have to put off a visit to the endodontist’s office. If a patient has severe pain, swelling or other discomforts, a trip to this dentist is a wise move. The office staff would not require pre-authorization from the family dentist to stop by. For this reason, it is good for patients to find an endodontist close by. Reading online reviews or getting recommendations from family members can help.
The insurance factor
There are exceptions to the referral issue. Some insurance plans require that patients first obtain a referral before going to medical and dental providers beyond those of general practitioners. Failure to do this may mean the patient has to pay the entire bill without insurance coverage. Before a person makes an appointment with an endodontic office, the prospective patient should look into their insurance plan and determine whether it requires this authorization. Fortunately, fewer and fewer insurance companies have referral provisions.
Getting relief for the most challenging conditions
Even if you visit the dentist twice a year and stay on top of good oral health care habits, you could still get infections or cavities. For severe cases such as damage to the pulp or roots, an endodontist may be the right person to turn to. While it is helpful to get a referral from someone you know, it is not usually necessary to do this if you want to make an endodontic appointment. As long as your insurance does not require this pre-authorization, you can schedule a visit today to a professional you feel comfortable with.
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