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Am J Dent. 2006 Jun;19(3):171-7.

The incidence of pulp healing defects with direct capping materials.

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Department of Endodontics, College of Dental Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328, USA.



To (1) study the injury and healing activity of the pulp tissue to calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2], resin composite (RC) and resin-modified glass-ionomer (RMGI) materials when used as direct pulp capping agents, and (2) compare the incidence of healing defects between these materials.


135 Class V pulp exposed cavities were prepared in non-human primate teeth. Direct pulp capping was conducted over 6 to 730 days with hard set Ca(OH)2, RMGI and CR materials. Healing defects recorded were: (1) bacterial leakage with McKays stain; (2) operative debris including dentin fragments and particles of capping material; (3) pulpal inflammatory activity according to FDI standards; (4) area and absence of dentin bridge formation; and (5) presence of tunnel defects in bridge. Statistical analysis was evaluated using ANOVA.


The capping materials were associated with varying levels of pulp healing defects, including tunnel defects (P= 0.0001); operative debris (P= 0.0001); pulpal inflammatory cell activity (P= 0.0073) and bacterial leakage (P= 0.0260). Other healing defects, and the area of dentin bridge were not influenced by capping materials (P> 0.05).

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