Safety of Electronic Apex Locators and Pulp Testers in Patients With Implanted Cardiac Pacemakers or Cardioverter/Defibrillators

Brian L. Wilson, Craig Broberg, J. Craig Baumgartner, Chris Harris, Jack Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if electronic apex locators (EAL) or electric pulp testers (EPT) interfere with the function of implanted cardiac pacemakers (ICP) or cardioverter/defibrillators (ICD). Twenty-seven patients with ICPs or ICDs had continuous electrocardiogram monitoring and device interrogation to detect interferences during the use of two types of EALs and one EPT. No interferences were detected by any ICP or ICD. In six patients, with intermittent pacing, a significant increase in pacing was observed during EAL/EPT stimulation (p < 0.05). Examination of RR intervals (a measure of intrinsic heart rate) demonstrated significantly longer RR intervals (slower intrinsic heart rate) during EAL/EPT stimulation (p < 0.05). Evaluation of the electrocardiograms for each patient failed to show any abnormalities in pacing during testing. These findings led us to conclude that the increased pacing frequency observed was related to a slower intrinsic heart rate and not electrical interference with the cardiac devices. In conclusion, the two EALs and one EPT used in this study did not interfere with the functioning of any of the cardiac devices tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-852
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Electronic apex locators
  • electronic pulp testers
  • implanted cardiac pacemakers
  • implanted cardioverter/defibrillators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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