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.
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 (ANOVA), and the level of significance was set at 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 has the potential to be used as a diagnostic tool for the vascularity status of the dental pulp.