Red Flags

Throughout the years of private practice patients have always asked for certain signs and symptoms of when a root canal procedure may be indicated.

I will list some of these "Red Flags" to watch for:

  1. Food and/or Fluid which cause Lingering COLD sensitivity and/or Lingering HOT sensitivity.
  2. COLD sensitivity which is eased by placing something warm.
  3. HOT sensitivity which is eased by placing something cool.
  4. Any sensitivity which becomes lingering and/or increased by something HOT and/or COLD.
  5. Discomfort which is increased by laying down and/or attempting to sleep.
  6. Discomfort which awakens from sleeping.
  7. Chewing discomfort upon biting down and/or upon release of the food material.
  8. A tooth with a fabricated crown which constantly displaces and/or needs to be replaced.
  9. A tooth with or without a crown that has a bite which needs to be constantly adjusted.
  10. A tooth receives a new filling and becomes sensitive. The tooth is then prepared for a temporary crown; the discomfort may cease or not. The final crown is placed and the discomfort returns.
  11. A tooth breaks and/or a large filling breaks out of the tooth. Now follow the scenario in #10.
    1. "saved you from needing a root canal"
    2. "close but did not expose the nerve"
    3. "you may need to see an endodontist"
    4. "this tooth has had a root canal and the tooth has never felt right"

Any one and/or a combination of these "red flags" can indicate the need for an endodontic procedure.

****** CONSULTATION******

Therefore, one of the MOST IMPORTANT services an endodontist can provide is a thorough consultation and evaluation. It is this service that determines the etiology and the diagnosis of the discomfort.

An etiology and a diagnosis MUST be established. It is only at this time that a root canal procedure should be considered.

Robert B. Light, DMD

Board Certified

Shedding "LIGHT"

on Root Canal

for over 25 years