Good toothache solutions start with a proper diagnosis. This involves taking a comprehensive history of the patient’s current and past symptoms and proceeds to special tests like pulp testing (to see whether the tooth can sense electricity) percussion testing (tapping the tooth), the use of fracture finding sticks, illumination and radiography (x-ray).
The diagnosis describes what is wrong with the tooth, a prognosis describes how badly the tooth is damaged and its chance of being restored well. It is the right of every patient to know the diagnosis, prognosis of the tooth in question and their treatment options- (including their pros and cons) plus the associated costs.
In addition, no patient should be subjected to treatment that is painful and uncomfortable.
In rare instances, the tooth is difficult to anaesthetise and has what is colloquially known as a “hot pulp”.
The tooth usually requires antibiotics and analgesia. If there is an abscess present, it must be drained to provide relief and then the tooth extracted or root canal treatment commenced when it is more comfortable.
We, as dentists, must treat our patients the way in which we would like to be treated ourselves.