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J Endod. 2008 Jul;34(7 Suppl):S18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2008.02.031.

Vital pulp therapy with new materials for primary teeth: new directions and treatment perspectives.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.


Vital pulp therapy aims to treat reversible pulpal injury and includes 2 therapeutic approaches: (1) indirect pulp treatment for deep dentinal cavities and (2) direct pulp capping or pulpotomy in cases of pulp exposure. Indirect pulp treatment is recommended as the most appropriate procedure for treating primary teeth with deep caries and reversible pulp inflammation, provided that this diagnosis is based on a good history, a proper clinical and radiographic examination, and that the tooth has been sealed with a leakage-free restoration. Formocresol has been a popular pulpotomy medicament in the primary dentition and is still the most universally taught pulp treatment for primary teeth. Concerns have been raised over the use of formocresol in humans, and several alternatives have been proposed. Controlled clinical studies have been critically reviewed, and mineral trioxide aggregate and ferric sulfate have been considered appropriate alternatives to formocresol for pulpotomies in primary teeth with exposed pulps. In most of the studies reviewed, the caries removal method has not been described. The use of a high-speed handpiece or laser might result in an exposure of a "normal" pulp that would otherwise not be exposed.

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