Endodontics intimidates me,
and that’s a good thing
CHRIS SALIERNO, DDS
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that endodontics is intimidating. Dentists are visual people,
and endo is one of the few procedures we do blind. We jam fragile little files into canals and
pray that they don’t break. A broken file makes for a bad day and potentially worse; endodontic
complications are one of the top dental procedures that can go awry in
malpractice claims. So, there’s plenty to be nervous about.
But endodontics is also one of the most profitable procedures we
can perform in our practices. We can and should invest our time in
learning better techniques. We can take advantage of safer and more
efficient equipment and materials. Endodontics doesn’t have to be wildly
I value my endodontist colleagues, and I happily refer them cases
that are beyond my skill level. The investments I’ve made in endodontics
are not to take away from that relationship—quite the contrary! I want
to take better care of the patients I’m already treating. I think many
endodontists would agree that their favorite cases to treat are not the
ones we’ve just made more complicated.
I think I’ll always find endodontics to be a bit intimidating, and that’s probably for the best.
Even the most accomplished endodontist knows that a “simple case” can present hidden com-plexities. No doubt future technological advancements will continue to make endo more predictable. I’ve heard talk about localized CBC T used to make endodontic access guides. We could
be reporting on that breakthrough in only a few years. In the meantime, let’s make full use of
the incredible tech and materials we already have. If it’s been a few years since you’ve explored
your options, I invite you to get inspired with this issue of Dental Economics and set up some
time with a sales representative for a hands-on demonstration.
Before I let you dive into this month’s issue, I’d like to call your attention to a new feature:
The Macroeconomics Op/Ed. Since the Macroeconomics section of Dental Economics began
almost three years ago, it has been a place for observations about the evolution of our profession. What are the political, financial, and social forces that are shaping the industry? While
these articles are based on facts, some of their most interesting elements are the small extrapolations based on those facts. Moving forward, we will identify an article as Op/Ed if we believe
it ventures further into speculation. We encourage our authors to attempt to explain the unexplainable and predict the future. If you ever disagree with a Macroeconomics Op/Ed, I hope
that it will motivate you to start a dialogue with your colleagues. A profession in transition
should also be a profession in communication.