Development and Testing of MRI-Compatible Intraoral Device for Somatosensory Stimulation: IADR/AADR 88th General Session

Research output: Other contribution


Objectives: Few methods exist to study central processes following intraoral somatosensory stimulation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), due to inherent technical difficulties associated with this imaging tool. Our goal was to develop and perform feasibility testing of a novel device capable of delivering a reliable intraoral somatosensory stimuli that can differentiate patients with chronic intra-oral pain, cases, from painfree controls. Data is required for both pre- and intra-magnet operation, therefore testing in the dental chair-side and during magnetic resonance imaging is needed to demonstrate functionality. Methods: Details of a device designed to deliver intraoral dynamic pressure stimuli are described. Device testing took place in three settings: a) laboratorial testing to assess range of possible stimulus intensity values, b) dental chair-side to assess reliability and discriminant ability in distinguishing between subjects with Atypical Odontalgia (AO) and painfree controls; and c) MR imaging to evaluate its magnetic compatibility and ability to evoke brain activation in painfree subjects similar to those described in the literature. Results: A novel device capable of delivering valid and reliable intraoral somatosensory stimulation (ICC=0.89; 95% CI=0.78-1.00) was developed. Psychophysical data analysis showed high discriminant ability in differentiating painfree controls from AO cases (sensitivity=100%, specificity=86.7%, area under ROC curve=0.99). fMRI results of intraoral dynamic pressure pain in painfree subjects revealed activation of brain areas typically associated with acute pain processing including thalamus, primary/secondary somatosensory, insular, anterior cingulate, and prefrontal cortices. Conclusion: A novel psychophysical method to deliver dynamic intraoral pressure stimulation was developed and validated, by adequately separating known cases from controls. This allows for non-invasive exploration of cortical and subcortical mechanisms of intraoral somatosensation using this device to proceed. Research was supported by NIH via K12-RR023247.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Media of outputPoster
PublisherJ Dent Res
Place of PublicationBarcelona, Spain.
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

M1 - (Spec Iss B)

Don Nixdorf was the presenter for this poster at IADR in Miami, FL. I did not go to this meeting.


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