An endodontist is a dental care specialist who handles problems with the soft tissues within the teeth, as well as the roots and surrounding structures outside the teeth. An endodontist first receives all of the education and training to become a dentist, and then has additional training to specialize in the field of endodontics.
Endodontists can help to save teeth that are too decayed or damaged to be fixed through basic dental treatments, such as with dental fillings. An endodontist will be the one who handles root canal treatments, or retreatments if additional damage occurs following a root canal procedure. An endodontist can perform surgery that repairs or removes part of the tooth root, or to repair cracks in the jaw bone that surrounds a root. Most commonly, an endodontist will deal with infections that occur within the tooth, or damage to the pulp inside.
This specialist may remove infected tissue, then seal and fill the tooth. A crown may also be used for increased function. An endodontist may also handle dental implants to replace missing teeth. The implant is secured into the bone and allowed to heal before a natural-looking crown is installed to provide realistic look and function.