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Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2015 Aug;16(4):303-12. doi: 10.1007/s40368-015-0174-z. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Evidence of pulpotomy in primary teeth comparing MTA, calcium hydroxide, ferric sulphate, and electrosurgery with formocresol.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, São Leopoldo Mandic School of Dentistry, Rua José Rocha Junqueira, 13, Campinas, São Paulo, 13045-755, Brazil.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the scientific evidence of pulpotomy in primary teeth comparing mineral troxide aggregate (MTA), calcium hydroxide, ferric sulphate, and electrosurgery with formocresol.


A systematic search using key words was conducted using seven databases up to December 10, 2013. Clinical articles in English, Portuguese and Spanish were selected, which were in accordance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria and the research objective of comparing whether pulpotomy performed with formocresol in primary teeth is more effective than other medicaments or techniques.


Out of the 12,515 publication initially identified, 30 clinical articles were included in the systematic review and analysed by four meta-analyses. The success rate of MTA (94.6 %) was higher than that of formocresol (87.4 %), with a statistically significant difference (OR = 0.39; 95 % CI = 0.25-0.62). Formocresol pulpotomy success was not statistically different from ferric sulphate or electrosurgery.


MTA was clinically and radiographically superior to formocresol for pulpotomy of primary teeth. The other alternatives to formocresol such as electrosurgery and ferric sulphate can be used instead of formocresol since they showed success similar to formocresol. In addition, there is no evidence to support calcium hydroxide for pulpotomies in primary teeth.

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