Precise Examination for Comprehensive Diagnosis
Simply put, this is the most important aspect of any Endodontic office visit. The accurate diagnosis of a patient’s chief complaint, the identification of all the factors related to the problem, projecting the treatment outcome, and discussing the available treatment options in an open and honest manner is the most important thing we do for every new patient appointment. It is even more important than the actual endodontic (root canal) procedure. We allow patients to make an informed decision regarding their condition and proposed treatment, so they can determine what is in their best interest.
We also take the time to make it abundantly clear to patients that just because you are referred to our office, it does not necessarily mean we need to perform a root canal. In some instances, the discomfort the patient is feeling may be remedied with more conservative treatments, rather than root canal therapy.
It is important to understand that endodontic pain can manifest itself in many different ways — from extreme pain to no pain at all. Typically, hot or cold temperatures or chewing and eating are the most classic pain presentations. In some cases, the pain is spontaneous requiring no stimulus at all to trigger the pain. The tooth or jaw simply hurts on its own.
In extreme advanced infections, the jaws and surrounding tissues may swell and become very tender and sore. Pain source and location with some endodontic infections can be difficult to identify. While the pain is extreme and uncomfortable the patient may believe it is coming from an adjacent tooth when it is actually the neighboring tooth that is the culprit. This referral pain pattern can be complex at times and a thorough consultation is extremely important to ensure the right tooth is identified and treated.
Consultation and proper diagnosis is the most important thing we do.