Get access

Selective stimulation of human tooth-pulp with a new stable method: Responses and validation

Authors

  • Samuel W. Cadden BDS, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    • Oral Neurophysiology Research Group, Dental School, University of Dundee, 4HN, Scotland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrew G. Mason BDS, PhD,

    1. Oral Neurophysiology Research Group, Dental School, University of Dundee, 4HN, Scotland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hilbert W. Van Der Glas MSc, PhD

    1. Oral Neurophysiology Research Group, Dental School, University of Dundee, 4HN, Scotland
    2. Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author

  • This project was supported in part by the British Council–NWO Partnership Programme in Science and by Tattersall Travelling Scholarships from the University of Dundee. An early report of some of the material included in this study was made at the International Mastication Symposium, June 2006, Brisbane, Australia.

Correspondence to: S.W. Cadden; e-mail: s.w.cadden@dundee.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The aims of this study were to establish a safe technique for selective stimulation of nerves in human tooth-pulp during long experiments and to validate its use even with stimuli of high intensities. Methods: A custom-made veneer containing 2 silver wire-conductive cream electrodes was attached with cement to the labial surface of an upper central incisor tooth. A variety of stimulus intensities were applied, and sensory and reflex responses from jaw-closing muscles were recorded. Results: In 15 participants, the stimuli evoked predominantly sharp or painful sensations and reflex inhibitions of activity in the jaw muscles. Stimulation of 3 non-vital teeth evoked no sensations or reflexes, even at intensities that evoked maximal reflexes in vital teeth. The electrodes had reasonably stable resistances throughout experiments lasting up to 90 min. Conclusion: The method described enables responses to low- or high-intensity stimulation of human pulpal nerves to be investigated in long experiments. Muscle Nerve, 48: 256–264, 2013

Ancillary