The best choices today for your patients.

As a practicing dentist, you’re undoubtedly familiar with pulp capping, a procedure frequently done to delay and often prevent the need for a future root canal treatment in immature permanent teeth. You may be doing these yourself or perhaps referring your patients to an endodontist for the treatments. In either case, it’s important to know about the materials used for pulp capping and which ones are the better choices for your patients.

But first, how do you explain pulp capping to your patients, or their parental guardians? The American Dental Association offers a clarifying description: When the pulp of a tooth is infected due to bacterial exposure (decay) or damaged from trauma, a root canal treatment is called for to avoid losing the tooth. But in some situations, you—or an endodontist— may be able to treat vulnerable healthy pulp tissue with a direct or an indirect pulp cap and avoid future root canal treatment or at least delay root canal treatment until the root has matured.

A direct pulp cap is done on permanent teeth when the removal of deep decay results in exposing the pulp. If the pulp appears infected or symptomatic, you may determine that a root canal is the best treatment option. But when the pulp is healthy, capping exposed pulp tissue with appropriate material and providing a good seal with the filling material may solve the problem and prevent the need for further endodontic treatment. Indirect pulp caps present similar options. If repairing a tooth with deep carious lesions, it isn’t unusual that a dentist can’t risk removing all of the decay without exposing the pulp. In that case, as long as the pulp is asymptomatic, leaving some decay near the pulp but covering the area with a bio-compatible material can stimulate the repair of the dentin and inhibit further decay. This incomplete removal of decay is not harmful as long as the filling material completely seals the dentin from the bacterial environment of the oral cavity.  Complete decay removal will be done once the root structure has matured.

Selecting the best materials for either of these pulp-capping processes is critical. Where calcium hydroxide biomaterials were once considered the gold standard of capping materials, mineral trioxide aggregate(MTA) and calcium silicate (CS) are now regarded as far superior to previous materials.

MTA is a biocompatible biomaterial developed for dental root repair and pulp capping. Various studies show that MTA can form a thicker dentin bridge and provide better long-term results in maintaining long-term vitality than calcium hydroxide. In addition, newer Calcium Silicates are functional biomaterials with an ability to induce new dentin bridge formation and clinical healing. They also seem to have intrinsic properties such as good sealing and the ability to set in the presence of fluids. Clinical and research evidence clearly support the use of MTA and CS as the “new” pulp capping material of choice. The result is less pulpal inflammation which allows the tooth to mature and heal with less calcification.

MTA and CS-based materials are the resources that dentists and endodontists should be using. At Professional Endodontics, we have incorporated these advanced materials into our practice with excellent outcomes. We invite you to contact us to learn more and see how MTA and CS materials can help care for your patients.

About Professional Endodontics

Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years.  The team specializes in treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists.  Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Hour Detroit Magazine’s Best Dentists.  Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.

Professional Endodontics offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield.  All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.

29201 Telegraph Road
Suite 110
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 358-2910

Clinton Township

Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038

St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080