An experimental investigation into the localization of pain from the dental pulp

By Friend L, Glenwright H

Date: 01/1968
Journal: OOO


Used EPT apparatus to see if patients could accurately localize which tooth had pulpal pain


-n=20 patients with minimal restorations and vital teeth from CI to 1st molar on max and mand

-Made plates with metal contacts on lingual of all teeth on 1 side, top and bottom central incisor-1st molar

-also had contact on opposite CI and 1st premolar to see if pain referred across midline

-9 subjects tested on left side, 11 on right side

-made apparatus by connecting EPT to contact on the teeth, could pick which tooth to stimulate


Accuracy: Maxilla 62.5% in CI- 26% in 1st premolar, Mandibular 47% canine – 28% 2nd PM   – Molars Max & Mand 35%

– identified within 1 tooth Max Lateral 94%- 1st M 62%, Mand lateral 94%-1st M 58%

– only crossed midline 1.5% of time-more often on mandible

Clinical Significance:

Patients often cannot identify which tooth is causing pain, especially on posterior teeth. However, the patient can often identify the area (within 1 tooth) the pain is coming from and it rarely refers pain across the midline