Objective: The current pulp diagnostic techniques based on subjective patient response to electrical or thermal stimuli are unable to assess tooth vascularization, which is a true indicator of pulp vitality. The present study evaluates thermography as a pulp vitality test, assessing tooth recovery following thermal stimulation. Hypothesis: Temperature recovery of the teeth following thermal stimulation can be measured and is different in teeth with and without pulp circulation.
Methods: A model simulating intrapulpal circulation was developed. Superficial thermographic measurements were obtained from teeth with and without elevation of the intracoronal temperature before and after applying thermal stress with cold. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance with a significance level of p<0.05.
Results: The model obtained could help differentiate between teeth with and without simulated pulp circulation. Recovery following application of thermal stress showed significant differences between the two types of teeth.
Conclusion: Thermography can contribute in improving the diagnosis of pulp condition.