Tooth Vitality Test for Comprehensive Endodontic Examinations
Do you have tooth pain? Is your tooth sensitive to cold or hot drinks? Does your tooth appear discolored? You may have a non-vital pulp in your tooth, meaning your tooth has restricted blood flow. While a dead tooth may not be a dental emergency, Dr. Tyler Wynne may want to monitor it to keep your oral health in check. One way to do this is by performing a tooth vitality test to confirm your diagnosis.
Why do I need a tooth vitality test?
Some patients may experience tooth pain or discoloration if the pulp is non-vital. Some patients may be asymptomatic even if their tooth isn’t getting enough blood flow. However, your dentist may notice restricted blood flow in a digital film during a regular dental exam. In such a case, your dentist performs a tooth vitality test to confirm the problem and advise on the care needed.
What to expect during a tooth vitality test
When your dentist recommends a dental pulp vitality test, you may have to schedule an appointment for another day so that we can assemble the necessary tools for the procedure. So how exactly does the testing work? There are several ways of doing this.
- Thermal testing: It involves placing a cold stimulus on the affected teeth as well as on healthy teeth. The objective is to measure the intensity and reaction time to the sensation. Your dead tooth may have a reduced response compared to healthy teeth. The same test can be performed using warm gutta-percha. For a healthy tooth, the sensation of the heat disappears once the source is removed. However, the heat sensation on the dead tooth lingers even after the source has been removed.
- Electrical stimuli: Although rare, your dentist may use electrical currents on your pulp to determine its vitality. Your dead tooth won’t respond to electrical stimuli.
Your non-vital tooth pulp may not necessarily require immediate intervention. In such cases, we continually monitor it to avert the risk of infection. However, if the pulp chamber is infected, we recommend root canal therapy to save your tooth from extraction.
Comprehensive Endodontic Examination in and around the Piedmont TriadSuspect your tooth is on its last legs? We offer tooth vitality tests to determine whether you need root canal therapy or other therapeutic plans. Please book an appointment with Carolinas BioHealth Dentistry to determine your pulp’s dental health by calling (336) 793-0577.