Are you or would you like to become a dentist? Do you want to specialize in performing root canals? If so, a career in endodontology might be for you. Read on to learn more about steps to entering this profession.
Dentists who specialize in dental pulp and root canal treatment are called endodontists. As an endodontist, you might be self-employed or work in a practice with other dentists. You can expect to work up to 40 hours per week. Depending on if you are a new or seasoned professional, you might work more or less. Working in this type of career, you should possess agility, be able to retain visual information, have interaction abilities and possess good decision-making skills.
Employment of specialty dentists was projected to increase 15% from 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Because of the expected increase of retirees in dentistry, the opportunity for more jobs was expected to open up. As noted by the BLS in May 2010, specialty dentists made an average annual wage of $162,190 (www.bls.gov).
If you're interested in dentistry, you can obtain solid groundwork through high school and college studies in math, natural sciences, physical sciences, quantum mechanics and physical health. Next, you'll need to pass the Dental Admissions Test, enter a dental program approved by the American Dental Association and earn a dental degree - either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). To practice as a dentist, you must be licensed by the state where you intend to practice; specific requirements vary by state but often include the passing of tests.
To specialize in endodontics, you must pass the National Board Dental Examination and apply to a post-doctoral endodontology program, which typically results in a graduate certificate. Schools often give preference to those who have completed residencies or obtained other clinical and research experience. You'll need to submit your college transcripts, references, application and application fees.
Through endodontology certificate programs, you'll get hands-on experience through seminars, lab work and the use modern dental equipment. Program studies may include composition and structure of the neck and head, oral replacement materials, tissues of the mouth, cell systems and oral science. You'll also learn treatments of the tooth root and pulp, sedation techniques, oral surgical procedures and proper patient care.
Programs usually last 24-36 months. Some universities might also provide you the opportunity to earn your Master of Dental Science or Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences along with the graduate certificate. Earning an additional doctoral degree could take up to 84 months. You'll also need to be licensed to practice the endodontology specialty; to obtain this, you'll need to demonstrate completion of postgraduate education. You might also need to fulfill a residency or complete additional examinations, depending on your state's rules.
To increase your credentials, you could become a member of the AAE, the American Association of Endodontists. The AAE sponsors the American Board of Endodontics, which administers a voluntary board certification of endodontists (aae.org). To acquire board certification, you'll need to pass a written test, oral test and a case history test.