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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 3 ( July-September, 2011 ) > List of Articles


Pulse Oximetry: A Diagnostic Instrument in Pulpal Vitality Testing—An in vivo Study

V Siddheswaran, Rohit Adyanthaya

Citation Information : Siddheswaran V, Adyanthaya R. Pulse Oximetry: A Diagnostic Instrument in Pulpal Vitality Testing—An in vivo Study. World J Dent 2011; 2 (3):225-230.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1087

Published Online: 01-09-2011

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2011; The Author(s).


Background and objective

The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical effectiveness of the novel pulse oximeter probe (OxyTip+) over the conventional techniques of electric pulp tester and thermal testing of tooth vitality.


A total of 50 children of 7 to 12 years of age (group I) and 50 adults above 18 years of age (group II) with normal maxillary central incisors were subjected to vitality tests each by thermal, electrical and pulse oximetry. Also, 20 patients (group III) with known nonvital anterior teeth having complete endodontic restorations were tested as above. The procedure was recorded twice and the readings were tabulated and statistically analyzed using the Pearson's correlation tests.


The correlation between the SaO2 readings and electrical readings were found to be negative with r = –0.201 and r = –0.39 for group I and group II respectively. The r value for group I was not statistically significant, but for group II it was significant with p < 0.01. It showed that the values of electrical pulp tester reading increased as the SaO2 values decreased.

In group I, all cases gave a positive response to thermal test with a SaO2 measure on tooth. But in group II, 2% of cases showed a negative response to thermal test though SaO2 measure on tooth gave reading.


The present study indicates that pulse oximetry with the OxyTip+ probe may be adaptable to the detection of pulpal blood circulation for all age groups, and thus diagnosis of pulp vitality.

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