Percussion Tests for Determining the Status of the Periodontal Ligament

Percussion tests may be considered mistakenly to directly correlate to a pulp’s sensibility. Although a tooth’s sensitivity to percussion tests may be due to a pulpitis or pulpal necrosis, they are only indirectly associated. This specific test aids only in determining the status of the periodontal ligament (Figure 1). A bite test may also be necessary if a patient complains about pain while masticating.

Figure 1.
Percussion testing on tooth No. 19 performed by tapping the buccal tooth surface with the opposite end of a dental mirror.
Percussion testing on tooth No. 19 performed by tapping the buccal tooth surface with the opposite end of a dental mirror.