Histological and Scanning Electron Microscopy Assessment of Various Vital Pulp-Therapy Materials

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Pulp capping and pulpotomy procedures were performed on 15 male mongrel dogs. Three materials were used: calcium hydroxide, acid-etched dentin bonding, and mineral trioxide aggregate. Six of the animals were killed at 50 days and nine were killed at 150 days. Samples from 11 dogs were used for histological evaluation, and the remaining dog samples were used for scanning electron microscopy evaluation. Each slide was graded histologically according to previously published criteria. Scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed, and the weight percentage of elements found in the dentin of a nontreated tooth versus the bridge formed in the exposed specimen was established. By evaluating pulp inflammation in vital pulp-therapy treatments, it was found that mineral trioxide aggregate was not significantly different from the untreated control group, both in pulp-capping procedures at 50 days (p = 0.357) or 150 days (p = 0.198) and pulpotomy procedures at 50 days (p = 0.357) or 150 days (p = 0.198). Moreover, histologically mineral trioxide aggregate was a considerably better material than calcium hydroxide or acid-etched dentin bonding in maintaining the integrity of the pulp.

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