Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy -- procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. The word "endodontic" comes from "endo" meaning inside and "odont" meaning tooth. Like many medical terms, it's Greek. All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. Thatâ€™s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist. In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists. The Endodontist removes the inflamed or infected pulp, carefully cleans and shapes the canal system and then seals the prepared space. Many treatments are now performed in a single appointment ranging from 2 - 2.5 hours (depending on the number of canals) but degree of inflammation and infection will determine the number of visits. Antibiotic medication is placed between visits (usually 2 - 3 weeks) which may help in removal of difficult to instrument areas. Once treatment is completed, you may be instructed to return to your dentist for permanent reconstruction. The restoration of the tooth is an important part of treatment because it seals the cleaned canals from the oral environment, protects the tooth and restores it to function.