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What Happens During a Vitality Test?

Have you noticed pain or discoloration in one of your teeth? The pulp of this tooth could have limited access to blood flow, an issue that may lead to a dead tooth. Even if you do not have noticeable symptoms, your dentist may spot this potential problem and recommend tooth vitality testing.

You may worry about what this testing and its subsequent results may mean for your oral health. Dr. Quinn Woodruff, a dentist practicing in McLeansville, NC, responds to frequently asked questions regarding tooth pulp vitality and relevant testing that your dentist may recommend.

tooth pulp health McLeansville North Carolina

Tooth Vitality Testing FAQs

Why Does My Dentist Want to Test Tooth Vitality?

Though some patients notice pain or discoloration if they have a dead tooth, some patients do not experience any symptoms. However, during a routine dental exam, a dentist may spot blood flow concerns in a tooth on an x-ray.

If this is the case, they will recommend tooth vitality testing to confirm there is an issue with the tooth pulp. Though non-vital tooth pulp is not a dental emergency on its own, it could raise the patient’s risk of an oral infection. A dentist will want to diagnose this issue and monitor it as needed.

How Does the Tooth Vitality Test Work?

If your dentist recommends a tooth vitality test, you will need to schedule an appointment with your dentist so that they have time to gather the appropriate supplies to perform the test. Dentists commonly use thermal testing to evaluate the vitality of a patient’s tooth pulp.

During this test, a dentist applies a cold stimulus to the affected tooth and surrounding areas of the mouth. They check the reaction speed to the stimulus as well as the intensity of the sensation. A slower reaction time or a reduced feeling of the stimulus could indicate a dead tooth.

Will I Need Further Treatment from My Dentist?

A dead tooth does not pose an immediate risk to a patient’s oral health, so dentists will not always recommend treatment for this issue. However, many patients ask their dental professionals about cosmetic dental solutions to address tooth discoloration that can occur with non-vital teeth.

If the patient is in pain or if the tooth pulp has become infected, their dentist will recommend emergency dental treatment with root canal therapy. The dentist will remove the damaged pulp and cover the vulnerable tooth with a dental crown, protecting it from further harm. Your dentist can discuss treatment options with you after they review the results of your tooth vitality test.

Schedule a Dentist Appointment in McLeansville, NC Today

McLeansville Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers high-quality preventative dental care and general dental treatments to patients in McLeansville, NC. Dr. Woodruff is an expert dentist who also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including periodontal care, for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation with our practice, reach us by phone at 336.506.6545 or contact our staff online.