NS-29 Diagnostic Dilemmas: A Clinician's Perspective on Uncertainty

4 (6 votes)

CE Hours: 1.5 

Course Description: 

The pathway of endodontic diagnosis is filled with twists and turns that often prevent the clinician from making a definitive diagnosis. In the worst-case scenario, diagnostic pitfalls will lead to inaccuracies, resulting in unnecessary or inappropriate treatment. Only with an accurate diagnosis can effective treatment be provided. This review, based on actual clinical cases, will highlight a variety of diagnostic roadblocks including the limitations of pulp testing, non-odontogenic sources of pain, the complex nature of patient perceptions and the lack of correlation between pulp histology and symptoms. A better understanding of these diagnostic dilemmas will provide the clinician a map to navigate the path to diagnostic accuracy.

At the conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • List the characteristics and clinical features that distinguish non-odontogenic pain from that of endodontic origin.
  • Use a systematic method to formulate a differential diagnosis of radiographic lesions found in the periradicular area.
  • Explain the classification systems of orofacial pain to facilitate appropriate management.


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7 Questions
CE Test
5 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
1.50 CE credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 CE credits  |  Certificate available

David J. Landwehr, D.D.S., M.S.

As a leading practitioner and educator, Dr. David J. Landwehr, D.D.S., M.S., serves as a frequent teacher at dozens of events each year focusing on endodontics and oral pathology. A Wisconsin native, Dr. Landwehr studied as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to earn his D.D.S. at the University of Minnesota in 1994. From there, he earned an M.S. degree and certificate in oral and maxillofacial pathology at The Ohio State University followed by specialty training in endodontics at the University of Michigan. Since returning to Wisconsin in 1999, Dr. Landwehr has provided exemplary care to patients and currently maintains a full-time private practice at Capital Endodontics in Madison. He has presented case studies both nationally and internationally, published research findings in peer-reviewed journals, served as an evidence reviewer for the American Dental Association and was the chief of endodontics for the Meriter Hospital general practice residency for 12 years. Dr. Landwehr lectures on many endodontic topics but has a specific interest in endodontic diagnosis and instrumentation of the root canal system.

David J. Landwehr, D.D.S., M.S. 

Disclosure: I declare that I have no proprietary, financial, or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service, course, and/or company, or in any firm beneficially associated therewith, that will be discussed or considered during the proposed presentation.