Evaluation of pulse oximetry as a potential method of determining pulp vitality was the subject of this research. An in vitro model of pulpal circulation was fabricated to test the design for a dental pulse oximetry sensor. Blood samples equilibrated with hypoxic gas mixtures were circulated through the model by a peristaltic pump. A pulse was simulated by introduction of gas bubbles into the blood circulation. Pulse oximeter readings for saturation were recorded and compared with blood gas analysis results. Statistical analysis revealed no difference between pulse oximetry and blood gas analysis with a highly significant correlation coefficient. Clinical evaluation of this application is currently in progress.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the University of Iowa Department of Endodontics research fund.