Pulpal blood flow recorded from exposed dentine with a laser Doppler flow meter using red or infrared light

Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Mar;87:163-167. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.12.009. Epub 2017 Dec 16.


Objective: To determine the percentage of the blood flow signal that is derived from dental pulp when recording from exposed dentine in a human premolar.

Design: Recordings were made from 7 healthy teeth in 5 subjects (aged 22-33 yr.) with a laser Doppler flow meter (Periflux 4001) using either a red (635 nm) or an infrared (780 nm) laser. After exposing dentine above the buccal pulpal horn (cavity diam. 1.6 mm, depth 3 mm) and isolating the crown with opaque rubber dam, blood flow was recorded alternately with infrared or red light from the exposed dentine under four conditions: before and after injecting local anaesthetic (3% Mepivacaine without vasoconstrictor) (LA) over the apex of the root of the tooth; after exposing the pulp by cutting a buccal, class V cavity in the tooth; and after sectioning the coronal pulp transversely through the exposure.

Results: There was no significant change in mean blood flow recorded with either light source when the tooth was anaesthetized or when the pulp was exposed. After the pulp had been sectioned, the blood flow recorded with infrared light fell by 67.8% and with red light, by 68.4%. The difference between these effects was not significant.

Conclusions: When recording blood flow from exposed coronal dentine with either infrared or red light in a tooth isolated with opaque rubber dam, about 68% to the signal was contributed by the pulp. The signal:noise ratio was better with infrared than red light, and when recording from dentine than enamel.

Keywords: Exposed dentine; Human premolar teeth; Laser doppler flow meter; Pulpal blood flow.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacology
  • Bicuspid / blood supply*
  • Dental Pulp / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry / instrumentation*
  • Regional Blood Flow


  • Anesthetics, Local