AIM: The purpose of this study was to collect quantitative information about the numbers and dentine bridge secretory activity of odontoblast-like cells following dental pulp exposure. METHODOLOGY: The numbers and secretory activity of odontoblast-like cells were measured histomorphometrically between 7 days and 2 years in 161 pulp-exposed nonhuman primate teeth. The area of dentine bridges and the dimensions of cavity preparations were measured. The density of odontoblast-like cells and subjacent reorganizing tissue cells were measured beneath dentine bridge formation. The presence of operative dentine debris and tunnel defects in bridges was noted. Pulp inflammation was categorized according to ISO standards. Bacteria were detected using McKay's stain. RESULTS: The area of dentine bridges was mediated by the density and secretory activity of odontoblast-like cells over time. The cell density of subjacent reorganizing tissue was found to be strongly associated with that of odontoblast-like cells. Bacterial microleakage was found to impede dentine bridge secretion by odontoblast-like cells. CONCLUSIONS: Pulp reparative activity occurs naturally beneath capping materials in the absence of bacterial microleakage. The outcome of pulp-capping treatments could be beneficially influenced by concentrating attention on limiting the width of pulp exposure, minimizing pulp injury by limiting the creation of operative debris and placing materials which prevent bacterial microleakage.
- bacterial leakage
- cavity preparation