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There is more to selecting an Endodontist than looking at online reviews

When most people are considering finding a specialist in healthcare, they look online to see reviews from past patients. This is a great way to get insight into the provider’s bedside manner, the ease of working with the office staff, or the general level of satisfaction with a provider’s work. As an endodontic office, we love to get feedback from our patients, and hopefully, hear raving reviews about our work. But, there is one thing arguably more important to look into when seeking out an endodontist.

The professional relationship between your primary dentist and your endodontic specialist

There ought to be a relationship between your primary dentist and your endodontist, in order for your dental care to be managed smoothly. It is critical to the success of many endodontic procedures for the patient to have adequate follow-up with their primary dentist. If a patient does not have a primary dentist to follow up with, then the outcome of the root canal therapy could be compromised. That is why it is so important to find an endodontist with a good working relationship with primary dentists, to ensure the best outcomes of procedures.

Reasons why patients don’t get adequate follow-up:

  1. A patient does not have a primary dentist. Some insurances do not require a referral from a primary dentist to a specialist, so patients may skip this step and head right to a specialist without a treatment plan from a general dentist. Often times, patients who are searching for dental specialist through Google or Yelp are in a similar situation because they don’t have a proper diagnosis or treatment plan after the root canal procedure.
  2. Lack of understanding. Patients often think that after the root canal therapy they are done with their treatment because they are no longer having symptoms. The most important part of the root canal therapy is to complete the crown to prevent leakage of bacteria back into the tooth. It is important to finalize your crown with a general dentist within 2 week after the crown to seal and to prevent re-infection of the root canal treated tooth.
  3. Geographically inconvenient. A patient selects an endodontist that is out of the geographical area. Not all patients have access to dental specialists in close proximity. So, if you are traveling to a specialist, it is imperative that they can communicate with your local dentist to ensure you get the care you need after your procedure.
  4. The belief that follow-up care is unimportant. A patient does not think that follow-up care is very important. This is absolutely false. While a procedure with an endodontist can make massive improvements in your dental health, the endodontist is not going to be able to see you routinely after your appointment. After you heal from your endodontic procedure, it becomes the responsibility of your primary dentist to monitor your dental health and recommend any additional care you may need.

What should you do?

So if you are looking for an endodontist to help with your dental health, we suggest asking your primary dentist for recommendations of local specialists that they are in-network with. Similarly, you could find an endodontist online with great reviews, and call their office to see if they have a working relationship with your primary dentist. This relationship ensures that:

  • There will be easy communication between your primary dentist and the endodontist about your dental care.
  • You will be the main beneficiary of great dental work from a general dentist and an endodontist who have a professional and good working relationship.
  • You are working with an endodontist with experience and proven track records, and predictable outcomes recommended by your primary dentist.

The outcome of your dental procedure may hinge on finding an endodontist with great patient feedback (in the form of online reviews) as well as positive professional relationships with primary dentists. Do not underestimate the value of follow-up care for a new crown with a primary dentist after your root canal procedure.