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The complete career guide to be an Endodontist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $171,040
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Endodontists are dentists that specialize in performing root canal procedures. They complete general dentist training as well as an additional two or more years of specialty study. Often, endodontists only perform root canals. Patients are referred to them by general dentists for diagnosis and treatment.

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What is an Endodontist?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in endodontist roles:

  • Perform examinations and review x-rays to identify and diagnose abscessed teeth and soft inner-tissue damage
  • Perform root canals by drilling teeth, cleaning bacteria out of the roots of teeth, and installing a temporary filling
  • Administer anesthetics to patients to numb areas where work will be performed
  • Prescribe antibiotics, pain medicine, and other prescriptions

A Day in the Life

Endodontists are dentists that are specialists in performing root canals. When someone has an abscessed tooth due to tooth decay or trauma—damage to the tooth—their general dentist often refers them to an endodontist for diagnosis and treatment. Often, it is difficult to determine the exact source of tooth pain and abscess, so endodontists are trained to properly identify problem areas. The work performed by an endodontist is often the last attempt to save a natural tooth before extraction.

Endodontists must undergo additional years of schooling after dental school to specialize in performing root canal surgeries. While some endodontists work as general practitioners who also perform root canals when needed, some choose to operate practices where only root canal procedures are performed. Endodontists that only take patients who need root canals often get patients through referrals from general dentists. When general dentists believe patients need root canals, they refer patients to an endodontist for diagnosis and treatment.

Endodontists—like general dentists—perform their work with the aid of a dental assistant. They may often need to do extra work to comfort patients and assure them that the procedure won’t be painful. Endodontists may also work with young patients to repair soft inner-tissue damage that resulted from trauma to the teeth. This often occurs when a young patient falls and breaks their baby teeth, causing pulp damage that can prevent the tooth from continuing to grow and form.

Typical Work Schedule

Endodontists usually set the hours they want to work, though most work normal business hours. They may also need to be available on-call on evenings or weekends to handle dental emergencies.

Projected Job Growth

More people carry dental insurance today than ever before in the past, and people are also putting a greater emphasis on dental health and cosmetics than they have in the past. These two things should create a stronger demand for individuals to work as endodontists in the years to come.

Typical Employers

Most endodontists operate their own practices—either individually or with one of more other dental practitioners. They may also work in hospitals.

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How To Become an Endodontist

The starting point for becoming an endodontist is earning a bachelor’s degree. The type of bachelor’s degree pursued is flexible, though most individuals have more success getting admitted into dental school if their bachelor’s degree program required them to take several science courses. After earning a bachelor’s degree and taking the required dental school graduate program standardized test, students can apply to schools that offer professional dentistry graduate programs.

Aspiring endodontists must then complete a professional dentistry program to become general dentists. There are three common degrees awarded to dentists: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM), or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD). After completing the graduate dentistry program, students are required to pass written and practical exams administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE) to become licensed to work as general dentists.

Dentists who want to go on to become endodontists must complete two or more years of additional schooling and training after earning their general dentistry credentials. To become certified as endodontists, they take additional courses and complete a residency that allows them to focus on learning how to properly perform root canal procedures to save damaged teeth. Additionally, most states also require endodontists to take further examinations to become licensed in their specialties.

Endodontist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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How do Endodontist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Endodontist's can make an average annual salary of $171,040, or $82 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $92,270 or $44 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #13 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Endodontists

  • 95.5%   Doctorate
  • 2.1%   Masters
  • 1.7%   Bachelors
  • 0.3%   Associates
  • 0%   College
  • 0.3%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Endodontist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 600 jobs for a total of 7,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #244 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Endodontists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Offices of dentists 2,900 600 1%
Federal government, excluding postal service 2,300 -200 0%
Self-employed workers 1,000 200 0%

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