Diagnostic Test Demo by Dr. Cancellier

Endodontics of Orange County Shares Root Canal Tests Used to Find the Source of Tooth Pain

Occasionally it is difficult for dentists and root canal specialists to find the source of tooth pain. To find the tooth pain source or a non-dental pain source, Endodontics of Orange County board certified endodontist, Peter D. Cancellier, DDS, teaches dentists that the key to locating the tooth pain source is a methodical and organized approach. Besides a confident and caring bedside manner, Irvine root canal specialist Peter Cancellier, DDS mends patient fears with useful coaching on what to expect before each test. With a gentle touch and compassion, tests to find the source of tooth pain are completed quickly and recorded by his endodontic assistant.

Irvine Endodontist Peter Cancellier, DDS is an Expert in Endodontic Tests to Find Tooth Pain Location


            The goal of this tooth pain diagnosis test is find out if there is tender bone near the root end of a tooth. This soreness is present when our body defends us against the pain creating, irritated pulp contents in the root canal. Other sources includes developing infection from a prior root canal treatment, a fracture in a root, or a gum problem. After teaching you the endodontic test procedure, how to share results, and receiving your ok, Dr. Cancellier uses his index finger to apply gentle pressure on your gum tissue next to the end of root of a few teeth in the area of concern. He asks whether you feel any discomfort after palpating each root and relays the results to his assistant to input responses.  


            Teeth tender to tapping may have biting trauma, a root crack, and/or have a root canal problem. Before tapping the teeth with anything, for this endodontic diagnosis test, Dr. Cancellier starts by touching the top of teeth with his finger, one at a time. This will prevent an unpleasant reaction from the tissue that connects a tender tooth to the jawbone.

Bite Test 

Click for Dr. Cancellier's You Tube Video

            The endodontic diagnosis bite test reveals irritation of the periodontal ligament. Causes include an irritated nerve, a crack in a tooth, or an infection from bacteria in the gums or root canals. Dr. Cancellier uses a bite test instrument to reveal individual cusp sensitivity. Starting on teeth distant from the bothered area, he will ask you to bite down with medium, steady pressure, hold the bite for a second or two, and then quickly let up. The endodontic assistant will note the results for each sensitive cusp, its degree of sensitivity, and whether it was tender to bite or on release of biting.

            Often, patients complain of soreness on release of biting plus a quick, strong cold reaction. These teeth suffer from the Cracked Tooth Syndrome. Watch the AAE video on Cracked Teeth. Often placing a crown will resolve these symptoms. If a crown is already present, then root canal treatment defeats the suffering.

Cold Test 

Click for Dr. Cancellier's You Tube Video

            Often patients get a huge ouch from cold and/or hot drinks/food. The tooth pulp is finally willing to let their owner know that it is time to get an appointment to test for the source of tooth pain. It will be a tooth that has not already received root canal treatment. Unless we are confident which tooth is the pain source, as a result of x-ray review and prior endodontic test measurements, Dr. Cancellier will carefully use ice or cool water to find the problem tooth. 


To reach a final plan, board certified endodontist, Peter Cancellier, DDS reviews the dental history and asks questions that relate to the chief complaint.  Listening to this useful news results in using the right endodontic diagnosis tests needed reach the final answer.

Upper teeth may refer to the lower arch. When there is a complaint of pain at the lower and all teeth test normal, Dr. Cancellier evaluates the upper area too. If the source of pain is not found, we may reschedule you to return to Endodontics of Orange County in a week.

If your dentist can’t find the source of your pain, ask for a referral to a root canal specialist for endodontic diagnosis testing. We do pulp testing all day long at our Irvine, California endodontic specialist practice. Peter D. Cancellier, DDS usually finds the pain source promptly.

Occlusal trauma may cause pulpal damage. Keep track of how many bite corrections you had. After two or three, and your tooth pain continues to upset your life, root canal treatment is a kind service. Good News: Endodontic treatment gets rid of a tooth's ability to respond to hot or cold.

A tooth does not have to linger several minutes before it needs root canal treatment. If one tooth lingers for ten seconds to cold or hot compared to three seconds for other teeth, and the chief complaint is lingering cold sensitivity, then this is the tooth needing root canal treatment.

It just isn’t true that what you don’t see doesn’t hurt.  Like retail where the customer is always right, if the patient says there is pain, then there is pain. It is a dentist’s job to locate the source of pain or refer their patient to someone who can locate it.

Please let Endodontics of Orange County and endodontist Peter D. Cancellier, DDS help you get out of pain. Call us or Contact Us. We accommodate emergency patients on the same day of your call.



Read what people are saying about us.

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I had a crown that was done about four months ago and it started hurting real bad. It felt like I was being hit in the face with a wet sock full of nickels. I yelped Endodontist and saw Dr. Cancellier's great reviews and he was one of the few doctors open at 8am. They were able to see me the same morning I called and he accessed my tooth and set an appointment for the next morning for the root canal. I heard so many horror stories about root canals so I was scared and nervous. Dr. Cancellier explained the whole process and told me not to worry because he would make it as pain free as possible. He wasn't lying. I fell asleep a couple of times during the procedure cause I was so comfortable. He gave me some pain meds for afterwards when the mouth numbing wears off but I didn't need it at all. Painless during and after. It was an awesome experience. If you need a root canal, save yourself some tears and pain and call this guy right now.


I went to another dentist and was told I needed a ton of dental work to fix a bad root canal, including an extraction and an implant. Well, I am the biggest chicken when it comes to any dental work, so I thought I needed a 2nd opinion. I was so lucky that a friend’s dentist Dr. Uchizono referred me to Dr. Cancellier. Dr. Cancellier had to do a lot of scary things to my tooth, but he did save it. I went in for 2 procedures. I felt no pain. (Not even the shots, which usually take me over the edge). Dr. C and his staff were so nice and caring. I got a phone call the day and a few days later checking on me. I told them I could not believe that I was ok. I laughed and said the only problem I had was that I needed to go in for a massage after the 1st procedure because I was so tense that my shoulders needed to be worked on. The 2nd procedure went as smoothly as the first one. The only difference was that I did not need a massage, because I knew that I wouldn’t feel any pain. Thank you Dr. C for taking such good care of me and for saving me a ton of money and more, for saving me from experiencing pain.


My dentist sent me to Dr. Cancellier for a bad root canal performed by an out of state endodontist. He was very gentle and took a lot of time with me. He noted that I had a significant amount of infection in my sinus and requested that I see an ENT before treating me further.

Later, it was determined I needed another root canal on another tooth which was discovered after I had returned to Dr. Cancellier after nasal surgery because the nerve had died. I was not looking forward to it because of the poor experience I had with a root canal at the other endodontist. The experience I had with Dr. Cancellier couldn't have been different. Both Dr. and staff were gentle and the procedure was done in half the time and with virtually no discomfort. I walked out of his office an extremely happy person.


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