The Most Common Endodontic Diagnostic Tests

The internal health of your teeth is the top priority for any endodontist. To determine what is going on with your teeth or causing you pain, it is necessary to conduct a series of tests to identify what the inside of your teeth looks like. 

But how exactly do endodontists such as our staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists go about doing this? With a series of endodontic diagnostic tests

Most of these you will already be familiar with as your general dentist performs a number of these tests as well. However, a handful of additional diagnostic tests are performed to look further into the internal health of your teeth. Here is what you need to know.

History and Talking Symptoms

Before any direct diagnostic test is performed, it is always essential to go over the current symptoms you are experiencing and your previous history. This often provides incredibly beneficial information in determining what is going on. Our staff can access your issue by reviewing your dental records and speaking with you directly. Remember that additional diagnostic tests will be necessary to peg down where the problem is and what is causing your pain.

During the discussion, you will be asked additional health questions, including if you are on any medications, if you are on a special diet, or if you have had surgeries recently. Sometimes the medications used both during surgeries and in general can lead to some dental discomfort, so we will want to know this ahead of time. But don’t worry. All the questions are quickly answered and will help us craft a complete picture of what is going on.


After going over your records and answering some questions, we will proceed to the physical examination of the teeth. We check for inflammation, damage to the teeth (such as cracks or chips), cavities that have gone without being addressed (or cavities that have lost their filling and left the tooth’s interior exposed). We will look for all kinds of minor signs of what is happening. Sometimes we can instantly identify what is going on with your teeth; other times, it requires additional diagnostic tests. After all, when it comes to the internal health of your teeth, it isn’t always visible on the outside of the tooth.

X-Rays and Other Imaging

X-Rays sure have come a long way in the dental office. When you were a kid, the x-ray machines were much larger, and you likely had to go to a room to take the x-ray. Thankfully, today, it is a much easier and more streamlined process. Additionally, technological enhancements produce a 3D image vs. a 2D image. 

This provides much more detail and information regarding your tooth. It is also directly scanned into a computer system, which makes it possible to rotate, zoom in, and look over other aspects of your teeth, including the root canal system.

The benefit of modern imaging is that it produces up to 90% less radiation than a traditional x-ray. There are different forms of 3D technology used for imaging your teeth. Therefore, what we have at our office might be slightly different from what your general practicing dentist has. However, the experience for you will likely all be the same. As we specialize in the tooth’s interior, our equipment is specially designed to focus on this and provide us with the best imaging (and answers) possible.

Pulp And Bite Tests

This is more specific to what we do at an endodontist’s office instead of a dental office. Pulp testing often referred to as Vital Pulp Testing, will test how the nerve endings of your teeth react to various hot and cold temperatures. This is done to determine the sensitivity of your teeth to different temperatures your mouth will contact. This test helps determine whether a tooth’s pulp is inflamed or has an infection. 

These are necessary tests to determine if you need a root canal or if another procedure needs to be conducted. Dealing with a highly sensitive tooth isn’t just frustrating; it’s painful. So, if you’re someone that is constantly feeling pain when eating cold foods or when sipping coffee, it might be because there is an issue with the pulp within the tooth (or there is a crack and the interior of the tooth and its nerve endings are exposed as well).

A bite test might also be scheduled to see how your teeth bite down and if there is any movement within the teeth or compensation made by the jaw back on how you bite down.

Schedule Your Endodontist Consultation Today

The best way to determine what is going on with your teeth and what might need to be done to make the necessary corrections is to schedule an appointment with us.

Here at Southern Endodontic Specialists, we are happy to see new patients, so whether you’re coming off of a referral given by your general practicing dentist or you are coming in on your own after hearing about us from a friend or reading about us online, we are happy to schedule an appointment with you.

All you need to do is give us a call or fill out the schedule request form right on the front page of our website. However you contact us, our friendly staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists are here for you.