The Validity of Pulp Tests on Crowned Teeth: A Clinical Study

Eur Endod J. 2021 Apr 22. doi: 10.14744/eej.2020.94840. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of electric pulp testing (EPT) using the bridging technique in comparison to a cold test on crowned teeth.

Methods: Thirty teeth were included in this study. Only one crowned tooth from each subject was included. The adjacent teeth served as controls. The crowned teeth were tested for pulp vitality using a bridging EPT technique and cold test. Vitality was confirmed upon access based on bleeding or lack of bleeding from detected root canal systems. The data was statistically analyzed using the McNamara test (P<0.05).

Results: The sensitivities of the cold test and bridging EPT were 87% and 66% respectively. Accuracy for cold and bridging EPT were 87% and 67% respectively. The cold test demonstrated a statistically significant higher accuracy and sensitivity than the bridging EPT. However, no significant difference was detected in the specificity between the two tests.

Conclusion: Both EPT and cold test should be considered as an adjunctive diagnostic tool when determining pulp status in a crowned tooth. Pulp sensitivity tests are essential but the results should be interpreted in combination with other clinical signs/symptoms.