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Why General Dentists Can (and Should) Practice Endodontics

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Endodontics is intimidating, but it can be a lot easier than you think. Dr. William Nudera is in his tenth year as an endodontics professor and is here to teach us a little bit about the instruments and the tricks of the trade he uses daily.

Finding the best instruments is a good place to start, but it’s not about the brand name for Dr. Nudera. He recommends getting a few samples from multiple companies and playing around with them. Endo files are all the same size these days, and to find the best one for your root canal, you need to know how it feels in your hand.

How heavy-handed you are can influence which tools you choose, and working with tools that feel good in your hand is the easiest way to build your confidence. Dr. Nudera gives us an abridged discussion of his protocol for treating a tooth with a root canal. For him, everything in endodontics starts with a cone-beam image, and he breaks down every step he takes to make the right decisions for his patient.

He shares everything, from the risks of using a one-file system during a root canal to which target shaping file he chooses to use. The dental slang he uses during the procedure is also unique, and we discuss what it means to keep your size 10 “super-loose” and how it can improve your practice.

Improving your practice is key to becoming a better and more confident endodontist. Plenty of textbooks teach dentists about endo, but very few teach us how to practice endo. Dr. Nudera intends to fill that gap with his own book, New Endo: Rethinking Endodontics. It’s not for the first-year dental student, but it’s a manual you and your team can use to diagnose why a patient needs a root canal, the steps you can take to complete the procedure, and when it is necessary to refer out.

There are too many teeth and not enough endodontists! Dr. Nudera’s goal is to inspire general dentists to confidently complete endo procedures without breaking the bank on expensive equipment. Knowing your skillset and knowing when to refer patients to a specialist is part of being a good dentist. Tune in now to learn what it takes to refine your skills and build your confidence in endo.

  • What it’s like to be a dentist in the Air Force Dental Corps 1:09

  • Dr. Nudera’s biggest piece of advice for new (and seasoned) endodontists 9:09

  • The protocol for treating a tooth that needs a root canal 14:01

  • Dr. Nudera’s dental slang definition of “super-loose” 23:10

  • Why general dentists can (and should) start doing their own endo 31:37

  • How to walk the decision tree of root canals with emergency endo case studies 36:36

  • How dentists can build more self-confidence in endodontics 42:24

  • What is the best file system for root canals? 4:55

  • Are there any tricks to the tools of the trade when doing root canals? 18:11

  • What target shaping file does Dr. Nudera like best? 19:32

  • How have minimally invasive procedures changed endodontics? 24:03

  • Should general dentists have microscopes in their offices? 29:33

  • What inspired Dr. Nudera to write New Endo: Rethinking Endodontics? 33:22

  • How does the future look for endodontics and dental implants? 43:50

  • What dental slang does Dr. Nudera use in front of patients? 47:27


  • Dr. William Nudera’s new book: New Endo: Rethinking Endodontics (Coming soon!)

  • Connect with Dr. Nudrea on Instagram and Facebook

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