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Int J Dent. 2009;2009:464280. doi: 10.1155/2009/464280. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Reparative dentinogenesis induced by mineral trioxide aggregate: a review from the biological and physicochemical points of view.

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Division of Cariology, Operative Dentistry & Endodontics, Department of Oral Health Science, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical & Dental Sciences, 5274 Gakkocho-dori 2-bancho, Chuo-ku, Niigata 951-8514, Japan.


This paper aims to review the biological and physicochemical properties of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) with respect to its ability to induce reparative dentinogenesis, which involves complex cellular and molecular events leading to hard-tissue repair by newly differentiated odontoblast-like cells. Compared with that of calcium hydroxide-based materials, MTA is more efficient at inducing reparative dentinogenesis in vivo. The available literature suggests that the action of MTA is attributable to the natural wound healing process of exposed pulps, although MTA can stimulate hard-tissue-forming cells to induce matrix formation and mineralization in vitro. Physicochemical analyses have revealed that MTA not only acts as a "calcium hydroxide-releasing" material, but also interacts with phosphate-containing fluids to form apatite precipitates. MTA also shows better sealing ability and structural stability, but less potent antimicrobial activity compared with that of calcium hydroxide. The clinical outcome of direct pulp capping and pulpotomy with MTA appears quite favorable, although the number of controled prospective studies is still limited. Attempts are being conducted to improve the properties of MTA by the addition of setting accelerators and the development of new calcium silicate-based materials.

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