Endodontist VS Oral Surgeon

Different categories of oral health care providers are involved in the care of gums, teeth, and mouth, depending what the problem or issue is. These can range from a general dentist to highly specialized experts.

Oral medicine, for instance, is the specialty that takes care of the complex medical cases by integrating oral health care with medicine. Oral surgery treats injuries and diseases of the areas around the mouth. This is the work of an oral surgeon who focuses on your jaws and face.

Endodontics, on the other hand, covers the practice (study) of the basic/clinical sciences surrounding normal dental pulp, diagnosis, etiology, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases as well as the associated periradicular conditions.


Similar to a specialist doctor in any other medical field, an endodontist is a specialist who has acquired additional training and experience beyond what they received at the dental school.

Advanced Education: To become an endodontist, one has to undergo 2 to 3 years of additional education after completing the mandatory 4 years in dental school. This has to be in an advanced endodontics specialty program.

Specialized Training 

The additional training is in-depth and focuses on how to diagnose tooth pain, root canal treatment as well as other dental procedures associated with the tooth interior.

Endodontists, by limiting their practice specifically to endodontics, exclusively focus on treatments related to dental pulp. 

Pain Specialists

In many cases, an endodontist can save a painful or diseased tooth with endodontic treatment. It is for this reason that Endodontists are often referred to as teeth saving specialists.

Use Of Advanced Technology

Endodontists typically employ state-of-the-art dental technology in treating patients comfortably and quickly. These include digital imaging, operating microscopes, fiber optics, and ultrasonic instrumentation.

Oral Surgeon

Many of the dental procedures typically carried out in a dental clinic or office are by nature considered oral surgery. Those seeking such services usually book them in advance to avoid the stress of being put on waiting lists. These are performed by an oral surgeon who is a specialist in that respective field of dentistry.

Specialty Training

To become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the US, one must have completed extra education and training beyond what is required for a dentist. Some oral surgeons receive their MD together with their diplomas in oral surgery. They also need to put in 4 years of hospital-based training in surgical programs in different specialties.

Detecting And Treating Oral Diseases

Although all dentists are trained in detecting oral cancer, sometimes the signs of this lethal condition go unnoticed as they are not always easily detectable. Oral surgery is used regularly in treating oral cancer and at times may be used alongside radiation therapy treatment.

Corrective Jaw Surgery Experts

Commonly referred to as jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery is a special field that can only be performed by a qualified oral/maxillofacial surgeon.

Perform Dental Implants

Although they can also be performed by a dentist, oral surgeons are best for this. It entails placing a dental implant on your tooth for a variety of reasons. The implants also vary depending on what is being addressed.

Final Thoughts

Endodontist mainly handles restorative procedures. These include root canal treatment and cavity restoration. Oral surgeons mainly handle surgical procedures. These include teeth extraction, dental implants, jaw fractures, mid-face fractures, jaw cysts/tumors, transalveolar extraction, mid-face fractures, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) complications. 

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.