Auburn Dentist: What you need to know before a Root Canal

Questions to Ask Before the Root Canal Procedure

There are diagnostic techniques in the form of very important fundamental questions that should be asked, along with clinical criteria to consider, prior to every potential endodontic case, more popularly called root canal treatment or root canal. It is the most common and popular procedure with the aim to salvage the tooth when its pulp tissue is diseased, injured or damaged.

Firstly, what is really the origin of the patient’s pain? Is it really the dental pulp? Hence, it is of endodontic origin and the endodontist must be sure of it. For there are non-endodontic causes of pain, such as dentin hypersensitivity, occlusal trauma such as clenching/grinding, or is sinus-related.

The clinician should ascertain that the pain is pulpal in origin such as symptoms of lingering pain to hot or cold, no response to pulp tests (with exceptions), and cases with apical pathology, like abscess at root tips, or do a cold test with Endo-Ice. He may also see if mastication muscles are tense or tender, look for occlusal wear, or non-localized pain that either wakes the patient up at night or is present upon waking up in the morning.

Next important issue- is the tooth worth saving? It is worth saving if there is sufficient and sound crown tooth structure to retain a restoration. Also worth saving if there is no vertical fracture that extends from the crown to the pulp floor which will severely compromise the strength of even the best crown restoration. Another fracture indication (but is not so always) is vertical bone loss and/or an isolated periodontal pocket.

In other words, one should not perform endodontics if the tooth is not structurally salvageable. Also, if it shows that it is less expensive to save the tooth rather than extract and restore it, root canal is indicated.

What Is the Long-Term Prognosis of the Tooth?

There is a more than 90% success rate for a period of many years for a successful root canal treatment in a tooth that is ideally and well restored. However, if the patient is in a poor state of periodontal health, one can’t expect longevity with even a successful root canal. One should also consider the combined financial costs of endodontics versus an alternative, like a single dental implant. Discussion on treatment options is encouraged.

Expertise and Experience in Auburn Dentistry

Talk to your Auburn dentist and find out if you are a perfect candidate for Root Canal. And also find experience and expertise in endodontics here at Auburn Avenue Dental.