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Root Canals

Pulp test

10/09/2006

Question:

my dentist hit a nerve 3 months ago whilst doing a filling, I have now a temporary filling a new dentist who took xrays told me there is a slight dark area near the bottom of the nerve and wants to do a pulp test. I have no pain in the tooth (although i did for 1 month). Is this necessary and is it painful. Many thanks Kerry

Answer:

Pulp testing is very quick and easy and can be done in the dental office within a few minutes. It is recommended in your case, since the new dentist wants to be sure that the tissue within the tooth is still vital (alive) before placing a new permanent filling. The tests usually include a thermal test and /or an electrical stimulation test as well as some percussion testing.
 
Discomfort should be minimal, unless you are having severe pain with hot/cold foods or chewing. Then the tests could be a bit more uncomfortable, but only last a few seconds.
 
Again, I highly recommend them before having a permanent filling put in or else you risk having to have your new filling needing to be taken out again if and when a root canal is needed in the near future.

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Response by:

John M Nusstein, DDS John M Nusstein, DDS
Associate Professor of Endodontics
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University