The Decisive Role of Laser Doppler Flowmetry for Pulp Preservation in Discolored Traumatized Teeth

Herman Roeykens, Peter De Coster, Wolfgang Jacquet, Roeland Jozef Gentil De Moor

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective : It has been stated that blood pigments within discolored teeth may interfere with Laser Doppler Flowmetry (LDF) measurements. The aim of this study was to assess pulp vitality with LDF in a cohort of discolored traumatized teeth referred for endodontic treatment or where the referring dentist had doubts regarding maintained tooth vitality. Background: Discoloration of teeth is a common sequel of dental trauma. Still today, it is taken as an indicator for root canal treatment. Transient apical breakdown (TAB) is confused with apical periodontitis, although it is a sequel of dental trauma in young mature teeth and will result in revascularization and dissolution of the apical radiolucency. Methods: A total of 26 patients with 28 discolored teeth, belonging to a cohort of referred patients with traumatized teeth referred for root canal treatment and/or pulp vitality assessment were screened on color with photographs by three investigators, with traditional sensibility tests and with a Moor VMS II LDF meter. Results: The color of the intrinsically discolored teeth was grayish in 58% of teeth, blue 20%, pink/crimson 12%, and yellow 4%. Eighty-five percent were central maxillary incisors, 11% were mandibulary incisors. Thanks to LDF, 43% of the trauma cases in this small cohort with discoloration underwent root canal treatment instead of 70% with traditional sensibility tests as indicator. TAB was found in 11%. Conclusions: LDF was decisive in diagnosing vitality of discolored teeth and there was no negative impact of tooth discoloration on LDF measurements.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotobiomodulation, photomedicine, and laser surgery
Early online date23 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

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Copyright 2021, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

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