Possible application of transmitted laser light I for the assessment of human pulpal vitality

T. Sasano, I. Nakajima, N. Shoji, S. Kuriwada, D. Sanjo, H. Ogino, T. Miyahara

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine whether use of transmitted laser light would enable a better assessment of human pulpal vitality than back-scattered light does (LDF: laser Doppler flowmetry). The experiments were carried out on ten upper central incisors in six subjects aged 23-28 years; five of the teeth were vital with no restoration, and five were non-vital. For use with transmitted laser light, the fibers within the probe of a conventional LDF apparatus were used, one for transmitting light onto the buccal surface, the other for receiving it at the palatal surface of the same tooth. For LDF, the probe was fixed at the buccal surface. Blood flow was measured at three different locations on each experimental tooth: the incisai third, the center and the cervical third of the tooth crown. In non-vital teeth, 1) output signals with transmitted laser light all registered zero, and no oscillation could be seen in recordings from any location on the tooth, but 2) LDF signals were above zero, there were regular oscillations related to heart rate, and passive increases in blood flow (corresponding to blood pressure increases) were recorded from both the center and the cervical third of the tooth, indicating that LDF registered blood flow of non-pulpal origin. In vital teeth, LDF signals were significantly higher than in non-vital teeth at each location on the tooth. At the central site on vital teeth, the output signals for transmitted laser light were about twice those seen with LDF, and passive blood flow changes corresponding to blood pressure increases were more clearly observed. These results indicated that transmitted laser light would be useful for the assessment of tooth pulp vitality both because the blood flow signals did not include flow of non-pulpal origin, and because its output signals and response to blood flow changes were clear and could easily be monitored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-91
Number of pages4
JournalEndodontics and Dental Traumatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Dec 1


  • Laser doppler flowmetry
  • Laser light
  • Pulp vitality
  • Pulpal blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)


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