The Relationship of Surface Characteristics and Antimicrobial Performance of Pulp Capping Materials

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Abstract

Introduction:

Pulp capping materials need to be able to protect the pulp but also bond to the overlying restorative materials. Light-curable pulp capping materials bond better to restorative materials and are easier to place than most water-based cements. The aim of this study was to characterize new light-curable tricalcium silicate–based pulp capping materials and compare their surface and antimicrobial properties with clinically available Theracal (Bisco, Schaumburg, IL) and Biodentine (Septodont, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France).

Methods:

The surface characteristics of 3 light-curable pulp capping materials based on a resin and filled with tricalcium silicate and tantalum oxide radiopacifier and Theracal and Biodentine were assessed by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and contact angle measurement. The radiopacity was measured following ISO 6876 standards. The antimicrobial activity was determined by the direct contact test and the antibiofilm activity by the adenosine triphosphate assay and the confocal laser scanning Live/Dead assay (Invitrogen, Eugene, OR) using a polymicrobial culture.

Results:

The surface characteristics of the materials varied with the unfilled resin and Biodentine exhibiting a hydrophobic surface. Biodentine showed significantly higher antimicrobial properties in the direct contact test, but this property was absent in the antibiofilm activity tests. The resins filled with tricalcium silicate and Theracal showed higher antimicrobial activity than Biodentine in the adenosine triphosphate and live/dead assays.

Conclusions:

The surface characteristics of a material affect its antimicrobial properties. The experimental resin-modified materials exhibited comparable antimicrobial properties with other light-curable pulp capping agents. Further long-term studies on the materials' antimicrobial activity are required to assess whether they can result in better clinical outcomes.

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