Vitality testing exercise



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VITALITY TESTING EXERCISE

UNC Department of Endodontics
Cold testing Procedures:

  1. Identify the teeth you are going to evaluate (3 teeth minimum; more are usually indicated). Start with what you believe to be normal teeth to establish a baseline. Cold testing is performed on enamel, dentin, or any restoration; it IS performed directly on crown restorations.

  2. Instruct your patient on what they are about to experience, and to let you know when they feel the cold sensation by raising their hand.

  3. Dry the teeth that will be tested with cotton rolls or gauze (do not use air syringe).

  4. Isolate the area with the use of cotton rolls or gauze (buccal and lingual for mandibular teeth).

  5. Hold a loosened (ie. not tightly balled-up) large cotton pellet using the beaks of the cotton pliers and spray with the refrigerant, Endo Ice (Q-tips may also be used if loosened). You will see crystals form.

  6. Apply cotton pellet to the buccal surface at the junction of the middle and apical thirds of each tooth for 10-15 seconds OR until the patient indicates that they feel a cold response (whichever is first). Be careful not to have excess refrigerant spray drop on the patient.

  7. Record the result using + or – for positive or negative responses respectively on the Pre-Consultation Worksheet.

  8. Repeat steps 5-7 for each tooth to be tested. Wet the cotton roll or gauze before removing to prevent “cotton burn”.

Electric Pulp Testing (EPT) Procedures:

  1. Identify the teeth you are going to evaluate (3 teeth minimum; more are usually indicated). Start with what you believe to be normal teeth to establish a baseline. EPT testing is only performed on enamel or dentin; it is NOT to be performed directly on crown (or any composite, porcelain and/or metal) restorations.

  2. Instruct your patient on what they are about to experience, and to let you know when they feel a tingly sensation.

  3. Dry the teeth that will be tested with cotton rolls or gauze (do not use air syringe).

  4. Isolate the area with the use of cotton rolls or gauze (buccal and lingual for mandibular teeth).

  5. IMPORTANT: Do not allow the EPT probe to touch any metal in order to prevent a very unpleasant shocking sensation.

  6. Set the rate of impulses to approximately one unit increase per second (Rate Setting = 6). Rates that are too quick may cause an unpleasant shocking sensation.

  7. Instruct your patient to hold the end of the handle of the EPT with their thumb and finger during testing; this allows the patient to serve as the ground so that you can continue to wear gloves. A protective plastic bag is placed over the EPT handle, but must allow contact on the tooth and on the patient’s fingers. Inform the patient to let you know when the tingly sensation starts by immediately letting go of the handle.

  8. Apply a very small amount of tooth paste on the probe and guide your patient to place the tip of the EPT probe on the buccal surface near the incisal edge of the tooth. Help the patient to let go of the EPT handle by removing the EPT tip from the tooth when a tingly sensation is experienced.

  9. Record the result using + or – for positive or negative responses respectively on the Pre-Consultation Worksheet. Positive responses are recorded if the patient feels a sensation represented by numbers between 1-79; Negative responses are established with a reading of 80.

  10. Repeat steps 8-9 for each tooth to be tested. Wet the cotton roll or gauze before removing to prevent “cotton burn”.

10/2010

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