Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Karan J. Replogle


The electric pulp test (EPT) has been shown to be a valuable tool in assessing pulp vitality. One of its drawbacks, however, is its high number of false positives. The purpose of this study was to determine if qualifying the type of sensation elicited by the test could lower the percentage of false positive responses. A retrospective chart review of an eleven-month period was conducted, examining all patients with necrotic teeth tested with the EPT. Of 189 teeth, when the patient responded to EPT at first sensation 23.3% of teeth were incorrectly identified as vital. When the patient was asked to respond only if they felt an uncomfortable sensation, the false positive rate was lowered to 8.5%, a statistically significant difference. No association was found between the teeth reclassified as necrotic and age, gender, type of tooth, or number of canals.


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