What Happens at an Endodontic Consultation?

Women at an Endodontic Consultation image

A consultation usually starts with a patient’s forms detailing his or her complete medical and dental history, as well as any medications or supplements taken, and forms of consent.

The doctor will study the patient’s medical and dental history and ask for a detailed description of the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Then he or she will conduct a thorough clinical exam and take radiographs or x-rays of any teeth/areas of the mouth involved in the issue. A comprehensive set of x-rays from multiple angles may be required. This will reveal potential difficulties such as blocked canals or unusual canal curvatures and give the doctor an accurate visualization of the tooth, pulp chamber, and surrounding bone.

In addition, the doctor will perform heat, cold, and tap tests on the teeth for life or vitality to determine whether the pulp is irritated, inflamed, or dead. This is how the dentist determines how significant the issue is and whether or not it is reversible (simply needs a filling) or irreversible (requires root canal therapy). In addition, the dentist checks the teeth for any periodontal issue that may have caused, or secondarily have been caused by the infected endodontic or “pulpal” tissues.

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The doctor will explain the risks and benefits of endodontic treatment and discuss any available alternatives. Patient’s questions are answered, and the treatment plan is explained in detail, including potential number of visits that will be required, as well as the estimated cost. If the treatment isn’t going to take place on the same day as the consultation, the doctor may put antibiotics in the tooth to reduce symptoms pending treatment.

Depending on the details of the treatment plan, and the physical and oral health of the patient, the doctor may need to consult the patient’s healthcare providers before commencing treatment.

It is important to save a natural tooth whenever possible. Even the very finest dental implants can’t truly replace a missing tooth. Endodontic treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise require extraction. Once the endodontic treatment has been completed and the tooth has been protected by a dental crown, it will function in the same way as an untreated natural tooth.

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