Comparison of pulp responses following restoration of exposed and non-exposed cavities

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Colleges, School and Institutes


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast differences of pulp responses between non-exposed and exposed cavity preparations in terms of inflammation, frequency of bacterial microleakage, odontoblast and odontoblastoid cell numbers, and tertiary dentine formation. METHODS: Class V non-exposed cavities (n=161) and exposed cavities (n=161 teeth) were prepared in non-human primate teeth. Cavities were restored with calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)(2)], resin modified glass ionomer, or resin composite. Following extraction (7-730 days), bacteria were detected with McKays stain and pulp reactions were categorized according to ISO guidelines. Teeth were analyzed histomorphometrically and statistically using analysis of variance tests. RESULTS: Exposed cavities in comparison with non-exposed cavities were found to have more severe inflammation (p=0.0001), greater quantities of tertiary dentine (p=0.0001), and an increased frequency of bacterial microleakage (p=0.0034). The density of odontoblastoid cells beneath pulp exposed tertiary dentine was found to be 47.8% of odontoblast cell density beneath non-exposed dentine (p=0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The restoration of exposed cavity preparations is associated with more traumatic pulp injury and repair responses. Consequently, efforts should be made to minimize iatrogenic dentine removal during cavity preparation and the creation of pulp exposures whenever possible.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2002


  • pulp capping, inflammation, bacteria, calcium hydroxide, resin composite, tooth pulp