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A 32-year-old member asked:

can orthodontics perform a root canal or should i just go see an endodontic?

14 doctor answers24 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brandon Martin
Orthodontics 20 years experience
No.: An orthodontist is a dental specialist trained in evaluating and correcting the growth of the teeth, jaws, and bite. An orthodontist has completed an additional 2-3 years of training focusing on jaw growth, dental development, bite correction, and tooth alignment. An endodontist performs root canals - they focus on the root of the tooth, the tooth nerve, and surrounding structures.
Dr. Stuart Hoffman
Orthodontics 30 years experience
Most likely not. All dental specialist have had training and at one time, were general dentists. Once a dentist becomes a specialist, their experience usually is within that particular specialist. As an orthodontic specialist, I learned how to perform root canal treatments, but have no performed one in 24 years. See and endodontic specialist in my opinion.
Oct 24, 2013
Dr. Daniel Sampson
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 26 years experience
Endodontist or GP: An orthodontist just does braces. A general dentist or an endodontist will do root canals.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
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An orthodontist first receives a degree in general dentistry, as all dental specialists. They limit their practice to their specialty by choice, but are trained in all facets of general dentistry. As an orthodontist (2 years of specialty training), I would never choose to perform endodontics, as the endodontic specialist spends 2 to 3 years more training in those procedures.
Feb 2, 2013
Dr. Sam Kadan
Orthodontics 26 years experience
See an endodontist: Orthodontists specialize in moving the teeth and limit their practice to orthodontics and thus don't perform endodontic treatment. It is best to see a specialist who performs a particular procedure all the time. Specialists are the experts in a particular procedure. You should see an endodontist.
Dr. Gary Chapman
Orthodontics 35 years experience
No: See an endodontist, he has 2 years additional training to perform root canals.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
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He or she.
Feb 18, 2013
Dr. Thomas Yash
Dentistry 46 years experience
No: An orthodontist cannot perform a root canal. If a root canal needed, go to your dentist for the endodontic treatment or he can refer you to an endodontist to perform the task. Your dentist will follow up with post and core( large reinforced filling), then a crown.
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctor commented
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An orthodontist can, but should not; as all specialist procedures that are done are to held to the standard of care of that specialty. Since it is not something an orthodontist normally does, it is likely the standard of care would be well below that of an endodontist.
Feb 5, 2013
Dr. Alex Shvartsman
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Maybe: All orthodontists trained as dentists . It comes down to experience.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
More than that. As a specialist you agree to limit your practice to just the specialty in which you have trained for 2-4 years beyond the limited training you receive in Dental School. Along with the training and the experience e, it's also the ethics of working outside your field of expertise. Would you want your brain surgeon doing a cardiac bypass, I think not.
Apr 17, 2014
Dr. Ronald Achong
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 18 years experience
Probably not: An orthodontist usually is trained to straighten teeth. A dentist or an endodontist can perform your root canal.
Dr. S. jay Bowman
Orthodontics 36 years experience
Endodontist: Root canals are performed by endodontic specialists. Braces by orthodontists.
Dr. Stuart Hoffman
Orthodontics 30 years experience
See An Endodontist: Endodontics is a dental specialty specifically dealing with dental pulp issues (root canal). An orthodontic specialist does not have the specialty training an endodontist has in treating pathology of the dental pulp. Go see and endodontist if a root canal is needed.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
No: Specialists are limited by training, experience, and ethics to practice only their chosen specialty. Would you see a cardiologist for a broken bone...No, you would see an orthopedic surgeon. Endodontists treat diseases of the pulp (nerve) chamber of the teeth. Orthodontists treat malocclusions, malrelationships of the teeth and jaws. See the appropriate specialist.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
Endo: This is better left to the appropriate specialist. If you asked us to do it, we would refer you to an endodontist or oral surgeon.
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dentistry 43 years experience
Endodontist!: An Orthodontist can only perform the practice of orthodontics and if you need a root canal see an Endodontist. There are some highly trained General Dentists that are skilled in both these areas and could do both, but technically they are not specialist. If you chose the later, don't be shy about asking to see their credentials.
Dr. Brent Mcfarland
Orthodontics 48 years experience
See an endodontist: it would always be prudent to see a specialist for what you need
Dr. Hessam Rahimi
Orthodontics 10 years experience
Very unlikely: Orthodontists are dentists to begin with, which means they are trained to perform root canals. But it is very unusual that a specialist of moving teeth would do general dentistry work. Orthodontic offices are not even usually equipped with the instruments needed. Although I know a few orthodontists who do general dentistry, but majority only do braces.

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Last updated May 17, 2017

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