The Development of a Diagnostic Instrument for the Measurement of Mechanical Allodynia

Asma A. Khan, Bryce McCreary, Christopher B. Owatz, William G. Schindler, Scott A. Schwartz, Karl Keiser, Kenneth M. Hargreaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Mechanical allodynia, defined as a reduction in mechanical pain threshold, is an essential diagnostic feature of inflammation of the periodontal ligament. Traditional methods for measuring mechanical allodynia in a tooth are not quantitative. This study evaluated the reliability of a new bite force transducer to measure mechanical pain thresholds, which might have application as a quantitative diagnostic aid for measuring mechanical allodynia in patients with apical periodontitis. To determine inter-observer reliability, subjects (n = 40) were given standardized instructions before generating maximal bite force on maxillary first molars; readings were then recorded by three examiners for a total of ten readings per examiner. To determine the test-retest reliability, the initial examiner then retested at two different sessions. The intraclass correlation coefficient was fair to substantial for inter-observer reliability (0.3-0.64) and substantial for intra-observer reliability (0.63-0.68). Thus, the force transducer used in our study is a reliable method to measure mechanical pain thresholds in endodontic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-666
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Bite force transducer
  • inflammation
  • mechanical allodynia
  • pain threshold
  • periodontal ligament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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