Dentists and Endodontists: Working Together for the Patient
Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Jacob Fimple, owner and endodontist at Advanced Endodontic Therapy in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s been my pleasure to work with patients and dentists in the Boston and now Omaha area since I began practicing endodontics 10 years ago. Working in such a specialized field has given me the opportunity to really appreciate the referring dentists I work with and makes me strive to be the best resource I can be for them and the patients under their care.
I have always had enormous respect for dentists practicing today. Since endodontists specialize in root canals, I know what a patient needs if they are referred to or walk into my office. Dentists, on the other hand, are constantly being thrown curveballs and must stay up on a number of practices. In a week’s time, they may perform cleanings, check-ups, fill some cavities, diagnose gum disease and more. I admire their ability to stay on their toes, be flexible and always do their best to help the patients they are able to and find resources for those they think may be better off seeing a specialist.
It’s difficult to stay abreast of all the new technology and techniques in any medical field, and endodontics is no different. With new equipment being introduced regularly and the introduction of the microscope, which has revolutionized the field of endodontics, it’s hard enough for a specialist to keep up to date, let alone a general dentist. That’s why we have always tried to reach out to dentists in the area to be a resource for them. Even if they are not referring a patient to us, we want dentists to know that we are always available for questions or to give advice on tough cases. Sometimes we’ll be able to help the dentist simply by providing some information or insight that we’ve gained from treating patients in our own office.
Our team has seen a lot throughout our years of specialty practice, including hard-to-locate canals, curvy canals, fractures we were unaware of until we looked through our microscope and much more. Being able to take these experiences and use them as educational tools to help dentists is one way we strive to be a resource for them. If they find they are uncomfortable handling a complicated treatment in their office or would just prefer to turn it over to a specialist, we know that we have made ourselves available to help out.
We also reserve room in our schedules for emergency cases that dentists are not able to handle. A general dentist is juggling many demands on his time and is not always able to immediately see a patient who is in an emergency situation. We have set up our practice hours so that we have slots available to get these patients in the same day. No dentist wants to turn away a patient in pain, so being able to refer them to an endodontist who can address their pain in a timely manner puts their mind at ease and assures them that they have provided the best care they can for that patient.
Making sure dentists feel comfortable referring patients to us is an area of emphasis for our practice. We appreciate the trust a referring dentist must have in a specialist when they make a referral, so we do our best to not only offer the highest level of technologically-advanced care, but to also communicate with the dentist throughout that patient’s care. Open and thorough communication between our practices helps provide the absolute best level of care for the patient and allows both practices to learn and grow from the shared experience. We also want referring dentists to know that not only will we take care of their patients with cutting edge technology, but that we also have a caring and attentive staff, all of whom do their best to make sure our patients are comfortable, well-informed about their care and well on their way to a quick recovery as soon as they leave our offices.
It’s an exciting time to be in the field of endodontics and we’re always eager to learn about new technologies or techniques that will help our patients now and in the future. We appreciate the dentists who trust our practice enough to send their valued patients to us for specialized care and know that we could not thrive as a practice and as an industry without their hard work and dedication. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me discuss the important relationship between dentists and endodontists. I look forward to chatting with you all again!