Toothaches can become painful left untreated, yet many people still avoid going to the dentist. There are many reasons why teeth might hurt and getting a precise diagnosis for tooth pain is critical for getting the correct treatment to resolve your pain. 

How an Endodontist Makes a Precise Diagnosis for Tooth Pain

Endodontists diagnose and treat complex causes of tooth pain, such as tooth abscess (infection). Especially when tooth treatment becomes complex, an endodontist will use diagnostic imaging and testing to identify the exact problem. We have specialized training to diagnose many complex causes of tooth, mouth, and facial pain.

We work with state-of-the-art equipment such as the operating microscope and digital imaging that general dentists don’t have. Our operating microscopes are taught at the graduate level in accredited endodontic specialty programs.

When to See an Endodontist for Tooth Pain

  • Lingering tooth pain.
  • Unexplained pain in your mouth or jaw.
  • Teeth are sensitive to heat, cold, or sweet foods.
  • Inflammation (swelling) near affected teeth or gums.

Some causes of tooth pain (such as a tooth abscess) can seriously threaten your health if left untreated. Seek immediate treatment if you injure your mouth in an accident or experience possible signs of infection, such as:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Redness or swelling in your mouth that expands to your cheek, neck, or eye 

Your dentist may also refer you to see an Endodontist for retreatment of a root canal space. Retreatment does not mean your dentist did anything wrong. Tooth roots can be complex. In some cases, only an endodontist’s unique equipment and training can resolve a complicated root canal difficulty. An endodontist completes a minimum of 2 additional years after dental school. We do advanced training in root canal treatment and dental surgery. We work with state-of-the-art equipment such as the operating microscope and digital imaging that general dentists don’t have to give the best prognosis possible.

The Importance of Saving Your Teeth

You may have heard the phrases “Your mouth is the gateway to your body” or “The window to the general health of the patient.” 

Both statements are true. As published in the National Library of Medicine, studies show connections between oral health and diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. But even without getting too scientific, here are some of the reasons your natural teeth are worth saving:

  • Your teeth play a vital role in properly digesting your food to nourish your body.
  • Your natural teeth feel better and work better than artificial teeth.
  • Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, affecting your ability to chew properly. 
  • A missing tooth can negatively affect your smile and confidence in talking to others. 
  • When you take care of your natural teeth, they can last you a lifetime.

Endodontic Treatment for Tooth Pain

It is necessary to have endodontic or root canal treatment when the inside of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures, large fillings, crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. Trauma to your tooth may also cause pulp damage, even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess (a pocket of pus caused by infection).

diagram of tooth

When you undergo a root canal or other endodontic treatment, we remove the inflamed or infected pulp and carefully clean and disinfect the inside of the tooth. We then fill and seal the canal with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterward, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection and be able to continue functioning like any other tooth.

Modern Root Canal Treatments

Root canal treatment from an endodontist is virtually painless and often leaves you with less discomfort during recovery than if you have your natural tooth extracted. With our modern techniques and new GentleWave (R) procedure, patients who experience root canals are six times more likely to describe it as painless than patients with a tooth extracted! 

Closing Advice

Please don’t get a tooth pulled because you think it’s easier or more cost-effective. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, affect your ability to chew correctly, and alter your smile. Extraction of a tooth can often be more painful and may be more costly and time-consuming if the tooth needs to be replaced with an artificial tooth.

Modern Care Endodontists can help you maintain your real teeth, allowing you to look your best with your natural smile, and to continue eating the foods you love. Please do not hesitate to call our friendly staff if we may assist you in any way.


Dr. J.D. Simonton

Modern Care Endodontics

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