Reproducibility of data from a hand-held digital pulp tester used on teeth and oral soft tissue

Frank B. Dal Santo, Gaylord S. Throckmorton, Edward Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Controlled studies of the reproducibility of data from electronic pulp testing instruments are limited and contain few statistical analyses. The reproducibility of these readings is important if the instrument is to be used for determining differences in sensitivity. Twenty human subjects (16 male) were used in this study. One incisor, one premolar, one molar tooth with small or no restorations, and two gingival soft tissue positions from each upper and lower arch of each subject were stimulated with the Analytic Technology vitality scanner. This procedure was repeated twice with a 5-minute rest between each trial, for a total of three trials. Each subject was then seen again after a period of at least 3 days, at which time the trials were repeated. The collected data were grouped by trial, tooth position, and day. Paired t test analysis of both the absolute difference between any two trials on the same day and the average of the absolute differences between corresponding trials on days 1 and 2 showed no statistically significant differences (p>0.05). Accommodation to the stimulus was evaluated by examining differences in the mean values between the three same-day trials. The Analytic Technology vitality scanner was found to be reproducible both for consecutive same-day trials and for corresponding trials on different days. No same-day trends in meter readings were noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry(all)


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