Depth and Activity of Carious Lesions as Indicators for the Regenerative Potential of Dental Pulp after Intervention

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Studies on dental regeneration involving interventions for pulp therapy such as regeneration and revascularization procedures are promising for the injured tooth; however, a complete replication of the original pulp tissue does not seem to take place. In cases in which we wish to preserve or maintain parts of the pulp during treatment, it is apparent that the effectiveness of healing or biological regeneration is dependent on the degree of inflammation of the pulp tissue. Thus, the control or prevention of a pulp infection is still a major issue for the clinicians. Data indicate that the typical reason for performing endodontic treatment is deep caries. The biological concept of vital pulp therapy associated with deep caries takes the treatment and evaluation of the unexposed as well as the exposed pulp into account. Interestingly, the clinical diagnosis is typically the same. Deep caries with reversible pulpitis may receive differing treatments such as excavation procedures aiming to avoid pulp exposure or more pulp invasive treatments such as pulp capping or pulpotomy. This should not be the case. Consequently, huge treatment variation is noted among clinicians based on the same caries diagnosis. Which treatment should be selected? High-quality trials are needed, and it is important to obtain information on the actual lesion depth and an estimate of the lesion activity before treatment. These may be basic indicators for the regenerative potential of dental pulp. Recent clinical trials dealing with the treatment of deep caries lesion are discussed, including pulp invasive and noninvasive concepts, to attempt to solve the task of getting the best clinical outcome for adult patients.

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