There is a test in dentistry called a cold test, or pulp vitality test, and it is a test that most people do not enjoy. Dentists use this test to find problems with teeth, and here are several things you should know about the cold test your dentist may want to use to check a tooth in your mouth.
Dentists use it when they suspect hidden problems
The first thing to understand is that a dentist will not simply use a cold test for no reason at all. Instead, dentists use this test when they suspect hidden problems with a tooth and need another form of verification for their suspicion. For example, if you have a tooth that is really bothering you a lot and if the dentist cannot tell what is going on with the tooth based on the x-rays, the dentist might suggest using the cold test.
This test determines if the tooth pulp is inflamed or infected
The cold test uses a refrigerant as a way of testing the tooth pulp in the roots of a tooth. The dentist will typically spray this refrigerant from a can onto a cotton swab and will instantly place the swab on the gum line of the tooth. When this occurs, you might feel nothing, or you might feel a sharp twinge of pain. The pain you feel may instantly dissipate, or it may linger, and the length of time it lingers will reveal if there is a problem with the tooth.
This test often reveals when a person needs a root canal
When the pain instantly goes away, or if you feel no pain at all, it generally means that the tooth is fine and no further work is needed at this time. When the pain sensation lingers, though, it generally indicates that the roots of the tooth are infected or inflamed. If this is the case, it typically means that you will need to visit an endodontist, as the tooth may need a root canal performed.
If your dentist suggests completing a cold test, you should be aware that this might hurt for a few seconds, but the pain will go away quickly. Dentists will only use this test as another step of ruling out problems with teeth or diagnosing problems with teeth. If you have questions about this test, or if you are currently experiencing a toothache, contact a dentist like Michael G Landy DDS.