Refer or not to refer ....

To Refer or Not to Refer?

This is the decision that has the greatest impact on the quality of patient care during endodontic treatment is the decision whether or not to refer.

  1. Most importantly to refer difficult cases means you may prevent treatment errors which cause patients unnecessary complications.
  2. To refer means you will remain on time and keeping your patients happy.
  3. To refer means your patient is seen swiftly and efficiently by an expert in Endodontics.

What constitutes as a difficult Endo case? Well - you decide: you the practitioner have a legal and ethical obligation to determine, based on the case at hand, whether you possess the skills necessary to predictably manage your patient’s endodontic needs. ..If unsure - just refer.

Check the guidelines: 

The AAE has developed a Case Difficulty Assessment Form, available on the AAE Web site at, that helps general dentists catalogue and characterize cases prior to treatment.

“The dentists who chooses to consistently refer patients to a specialist don’t find themselves in emergency situations – it just doesn’t happen,” says endodontist James Abbott, D.D.S., M.S., of Santa Rosa, Calif. “The Case Difficulty Assessment Form is a valuable tool to help dentists decide whether a referral should be made.”

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