To assess changes in pulp blood flow (PBF) and pulp sensibility (PS) in teeth of patients with a history of dental trauma undergoing maxillary expansion.
Twenty-five patients requiring rapid maxillary expansion (RME) had the pulp status of their maxillary anterior teeth assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry, electric pulp testing, and thermal testing (CO2 snow). Each patient was tested at T1 (prior to expansion), T2 (2 weeks after rapid expansion), and T3 (3 months after expansion). Relationships between PBF, time interval, and history of trauma were evaluated using linear mixed modelling.
Within the Trauma group, PBF was significantly lower (P ≤ .05) at T2 and T3 in comparison to T1 and significantly lower (P ≤ .05) at T2 in comparison to T3. In the Non-trauma group, PBF at T2 was significantly lower (P ≤ .05) than PBF at T1 and T3; however, no significant difference (P > .05) in PBF was observed when comparing PBF at T1 and T3. In both groups, PS was maintained in almost all teeth (>90%).
RME in healthy teeth causes reduction of PBF before reestablishment of pretreatment values. RME in traumatized teeth causes reduction of PBF without PBF being reestablished to pretreatment levels. Teeth with a history of compromise may have reduced adaptive capacity under insults such as RME, which should be appreciated during the informed consent process.