Partial Pulpotomy in Mature Permanent Teeth with Clinical Signs Indicative of Irreversible Pulpitis: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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This study aimed to assess the outcome of partial pulpotomy using mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) compared with calcium hydroxide (CH) in mature cariously exposed permanent molars.


Fifty permanent molar teeth with carious exposures in 50 patients >20 years old were included. Preoperative pulpal and periapical diagnosis was established based on a history of presenting pain, results of cold testing, and radiographic findings. After informed consent, the tooth was anesthetized, isolated via a dental dam, and disinfected with 5% sodium hypochlorite before caries excavation. Partial pulpotomy was performed by amputating 2 mm of the exposed pulp, hemostasis was achieved, and the tooth was randomly assigned for the placement of either white MTA (White ProRoot; Dentsply, Tulsa, OK) or CH (Dycal; Dentsply Caulk, Milford, DE) as the pulpotomy agent. Postoperative periapical radiographs were taken after placement of the permanent restoration. Clinical and radiographic evaluation was completed after 6 months and 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Statistical analysis was performed using the Fisher exact test.


Clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of irreversible pulpitis were established in all teeth. Immediate failure occurred in 4 teeth. At 1 year, MTA showed a higher tendency toward success compared with the CH group, and the difference was statistically significant after 2 years (83% vs 55%, P = .052 at 1 year; 85% vs 43%, P = .006 at 2 years). Sex did not have a statistically significant effect on the outcome.


MTA partial pulpotomy sustained a good success rate over the 2-year follow-up in mature permanent teeth clinically diagnosed with irreversible pulpitis. More than half of the CH cases failed within 2 years.

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