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Difficulties with the electric pulp test by Mind Map: Difficulties with the electric pulp test
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Difficulties with the electric pulp test

In young patients the A-delta fibres, which respond to the EPT, are not fully developed, therefore a negative response may be recorded from a vital tooth.

The presence of saliva on the tooth can conduct the current to the adjacent teeth and gingival tissues, giving a positive response that does not originate from the tooth being tested.

Large restorations or thick linings may prevent the current from stimulating pulpal nerve tissue.

Molar teeth may have a combination of vital and non-vital canals and a positive reading will be recorded even though a canal is necrotic.

Teeth involved in splints or as part of a bridge may give a positive response as the electric current is transferred to adjacent vital teeth.

Tooth wear can lead to large areas of sclerotic dentine that may give a negative response although the tooth is vital.

Following trauma, the pulp may give a negative response because of temporary paraesthesia of the nerve fibres. If the tooth remains vital a positive neuronal response should occur within 30–60 days.

Ref. Restoration of the root-filled tooth: pre-operative assessment. BRITISH DENTAL JOURNAL VOLUME 198 NO. 7 APRIL 9 2005


Young Patients/ A-delta fibers

Presence of Saliva

Large Restorations, thick linings

Molars, vital/non-vital canals


Tooth Wear