Could you be an endodontist? – Mark Allen

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  Posted by: Dental Design      5th November 2018

As you know, dentistry offers an array of opportunities to learn new skills, progress up the ladder and advance one’s career. Which avenue you choose to take is entirely up to you. You may decide that you would like to purchase your own practice and become a principal, or to expand your scope of practice so that you are able to provide an array of treatments to your patients. Perhaps it is your dream to hone your skills and become a specialist in a particular field of dentistry?


Whichever path you choose, it is always important to consider what the journey to your destination entails, and what will be expected of you from patients and the profession. Becoming a specialist is a particularly huge commitment, but one that can be hugely rewarding both professionally and personally.


Amongst the areas you could choose to train in is endodontics, the speciality concerned with the study and treatment of diseases of the tooth, dental pulp and surrounding tissues. As an endodontist, you would be responsible for performing a variety of procedures including root canal therapy, endodontic retreatment (if a root canal fails), and treatment of cracked teeth and dental trauma. Many of these you are likely to have carried out over the course of your career, but as an endodontist you would be qualified to treat complex cases that are beyond a general dental practitioner’s skillset. It would also give you the opportunity to develop your skills in associated areas of endodontics, including cone beam computed tomography, ultrasonics and microsurgery. It’s an exciting time for endodontists with lots of new technologies to explore, as well as a number of innovative techniques coming to the fore such as regeneration/revascularisation. The question you have to ask yourself is do you have what it takes to be an endodontist?

To become a GDC-recognised specialist in endodontology, you will need to hold a primary dental degree from a recognised institution and have at least two years of experience working in the dental practice. If English is not your first language, then you will be required to undertake and pass a test, though if you hold a degree from a country officially recognised as majority English-speaking, then proof of English certification is not required. Take note that endodontic training courses are at least three years long, sometimes more, so you would need to be in it for the long haul. But just think, at the end of it all you have a postgraduate qualification to your name so it’s worth it.

You may also want to consider the associated attributes and skills that tend to go hand in hand with endodontics. If you tick some of the following boxes then endodontics could well be the field for you. Manual dexterity and precision, for instance, are essential in endodontology, as treatment is often very intricate. It also helps to have a good eye for detail and be able to problem solve – not to mention patience and a passion for helping patients. Dentistry is, after all, a client-facing profession. To keep your patients calm during what they consider to be a painful and nerve-racking procedure, you will need to have a good chairside manner.

Above all else, you need to have the drive and motivation – and that applies to all specialisms, not just endodontics. With science and technology evolving all the time you must be able to keep up with the latest discoveries in the field and innovations that are helping to drive treatment outcomes forward. That means taking regular courses, constantly refreshing and updating your skills and learning about new equipment and materials available that are capable of providing better results. COLTENE can help with this. The leading manufacturer and distributor hosts an array of short endodontic courses to help practitioners enhance their skills, and offers a complete selection of essential high-performance tools and materials that have been developed using the latest technology and research. With an endodontic product specialist like COLTENE at your side, you can help ensure that you’re working to the best of your ability.

Becoming a specialist endodontist is a long process, but as long as you have the right skills, attributes, mind-set and support in finding suitable tools and materials to deliver high-quality treatment, then it is a pathway well within your grasp. One that you would no doubt find highly satisfying and rewarding.


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