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Pain levels and typical symptoms of acute endodontic infections: a prospective, observational study


Rechenberg, Dan-Krister; Held, Ulrike; Burgstaller, Jakob M; Bosch, Gabriel; Attin, Thomas (2016). Pain levels and typical symptoms of acute endodontic infections: a prospective, observational study. BMC Oral Health, 16(1):61.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to identify key symptoms that could be associated with the diagnosis of acute forms of symptomatic apical periodontitis (SAP) and symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (SIP), and to identify a diagnostic algorithm based on these symptoms.
METHODS: In this prospective, observational study 173 emergency patients diagnosed with acute pain of endodontic origin and no swelling or fistula were included. Patients were asked 11 specific questions from a checklist with a possible discerning value between acute SAP and acute SIP. Pain levels were recorded using the numeric rating scale (NRS-11). Subsequently, the painful tooth was diagnosed. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the checklist regarding its differentiation between SAP (N = 103) and SIP (N = 70). Moreover, a decision tree was constructed based on recursive partitioning to identify a hierarchy in differentiating symptoms.
RESULTS: With identical median NRS-11 scores of 8, the teeth diagnosed with acute SAP and SIP were severely painful. The decision tree analysis resulted in a tree with splits according to pain on cold, perceived tooth extrusion, and pain duration. The overall sensitivity of the tree to detect SAP based on key symptoms was 95 %, its specificity was 31 %.
CONCLUSIONS: The best indicator for SAP was a reported absence of pain to cold stimuli. In teeth that did have a history of pain triggered by cold stimuli, the decision tree correctly identified SAP in 72 % of the teeth that felt too high and had hurt for less than one week.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to identify key symptoms that could be associated with the diagnosis of acute forms of symptomatic apical periodontitis (SAP) and symptomatic irreversible pulpitis (SIP), and to identify a diagnostic algorithm based on these symptoms.
METHODS: In this prospective, observational study 173 emergency patients diagnosed with acute pain of endodontic origin and no swelling or fistula were included. Patients were asked 11 specific questions from a checklist with a possible discerning value between acute SAP and acute SIP. Pain levels were recorded using the numeric rating scale (NRS-11). Subsequently, the painful tooth was diagnosed. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the checklist regarding its differentiation between SAP (N = 103) and SIP (N = 70). Moreover, a decision tree was constructed based on recursive partitioning to identify a hierarchy in differentiating symptoms.
RESULTS: With identical median NRS-11 scores of 8, the teeth diagnosed with acute SAP and SIP were severely painful. The decision tree analysis resulted in a tree with splits according to pain on cold, perceived tooth extrusion, and pain duration. The overall sensitivity of the tree to detect SAP based on key symptoms was 95 %, its specificity was 31 %.
CONCLUSIONS: The best indicator for SAP was a reported absence of pain to cold stimuli. In teeth that did have a history of pain triggered by cold stimuli, the decision tree correctly identified SAP in 72 % of the teeth that felt too high and had hurt for less than one week.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Dental Medicine > Clinic for Preventive Dentistry, Periodontology and Cariology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:27 May 2016
Deposited On:02 Dec 2016 14:22
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 06:55
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1472-6831
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-016-0222-z
PubMed ID:27234432

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