10 doctors weighed in:

Do x-rays always detect the need for a root canal? Severe pain. Lower right crowned back molar & sensitive gum line on right side. X-rays perfect.

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kayvon Javid
Dentistry
5 doctors agree

In brief: No

Your infection may not be large enough to be visible on an x-ray.
If you are having sever, spontaneous pain than you most likely need a rootcanal. See a dentist or an endodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

In brief: No

Your infection may not be large enough to be visible on an x-ray.
If you are having sever, spontaneous pain than you most likely need a rootcanal. See a dentist or an endodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Kayvon Javid
Dr. Kayvon Javid
Thank
Dr. Scott Terry
Dentistry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not at all!

Sometimes a tooth that is alive has a disease nerve.
My experience is that these usually do not show anything on the xray. The same is true with most cracked teeth. A cracked tooth could also have severe pain and could exist even with a crown. Many cracked teeth do not show up on routine xrays.

In brief: Not at all!

Sometimes a tooth that is alive has a disease nerve.
My experience is that these usually do not show anything on the xray. The same is true with most cracked teeth. A cracked tooth could also have severe pain and could exist even with a crown. Many cracked teeth do not show up on routine xrays.
Dr. Scott Terry
Dr. Scott Terry
Thank
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
Dentistry - Endodontics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Only sometimes

Dr. Terry is correct.
X-rays will only show decay, abscesses, deep fillings, an some cracks. An edodontic exam will, determine which tooth.

In brief: Only sometimes

Dr. Terry is correct.
X-rays will only show decay, abscesses, deep fillings, an some cracks. An edodontic exam will, determine which tooth.
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
Dr. Kenneth Grossman
Thank
1 doctor agrees

In brief: No

Xrays are used to confirm a diagnosis not make a diagnosis.
General dentists and endodontists are trained to make a tentative diagnosis first, then confirm with further supporting evidence such as an xray . Most likely the margin around the crown is not sealed.And bacteria is being trapped causing inflammation of the gingiva.But seek care.

In brief: No

Xrays are used to confirm a diagnosis not make a diagnosis.
General dentists and endodontists are trained to make a tentative diagnosis first, then confirm with further supporting evidence such as an xray . Most likely the margin around the crown is not sealed.And bacteria is being trapped causing inflammation of the gingiva.But seek care.
Dr. Charles Coleman
Dr. Charles Coleman
Thank
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics

In brief: Not always

Problem may be periodontal.
Or a crown in hyperfunction, or decay under the crown. Suggest that you consult with an Endodontist, a root canal specialist, who has the equipment, training, and experience to evaluate your problem.

In brief: Not always

Problem may be periodontal.
Or a crown in hyperfunction, or decay under the crown. Suggest that you consult with an Endodontist, a root canal specialist, who has the equipment, training, and experience to evaluate your problem.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vikram Patel
Board Certified,
34 years in practice
973K people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors