Cold Test - Dental Examination Method
The cold test is an examination method used in dentistry to determine the sensitivity of your teeth.
When the dentist holds something cold to your teeth, a healthy tooth nerve normally transmits this stimulus: You feel cold. The intensity of the cold is not important; it is only important if you feel something or not. Sometimes you feel nothing. This means the tooth is not sensitive, but things can still be in order. Only if there are additional signs of damage to the tooth nerve, such as abnormal changes in the x-ray, as seen in this picture (the dark spot on the root top) should the tooth be considered damaged. In this case, dentists talk about a devitalized tooth. A devitalized tooth requires root treatment because the defunct tooth nerve – it really is tissue – causes an inflammatory reaction in the bone.
Such inflammations can even become life threatening! Sometimes the tooth reacts very intensely to cold and you can feel the cold stimulus even after the dentist has stopped the actual stimulus. The cold stimulus, or rather, the cold pain, follows. This reaction is common among individuals with an inflamed tooth nerve. Dentists call this acute pulpit. Root treatment is usually necessary, as the tooth seldom recovers on its own.
The cold spray should not be aimed directly at your teeth because this could cause damage. You see how the dentist uses the cold spray to ice off a piece of cotton; this piece of cotton is then held on the tooth while the dentist awaits your reaction. This way the teeth cannot be damaged. This is the cold test.
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