Dental caries (pulpitis)

Background

Clinical Features

  • Reversible Pulpitis
    • Duration of pain is short (seconds)
    • Associated with noxious stimuli (usually cold or heat, can also be elicited by sweat and sour)
  • Irreversible Pulpitis
    • Duration of pain is long (hours) and intense
    • Associated with noxious stimuli or may occur spontaneously

Differential Diagnosis

Dentoalveolar Injuries

Odontogenic Infections

Other

Evaluation

  • Clinical evaluation
  • X-Ray images
  • Dental referral

Management

  • Short term management with local anesthetics
  • Antibiotics controversial for dental pain alone without evidence of infection
  • Antibiotic choices: Penicillin VK or Clindamycin
  • Definitive therapy with root canal or extraction (for irreversible pulpitis)

Disposition

  • Discharge with dental follow-up

See Also

References

Authors:

Michael Holtz