Medicine & Dentistry-Dentistry and Dental Hygiene
University of Alberta
Clinical Assistant Professor
Summary of research:
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Guidelines on Oral Health, baby teeth are vital for speech production and development, eating and nutrition (Serap, Dogan, & Kuru, 2012), self-confidence, the reduction of bad breath, holding the appropriate amount of space for developing adult teeth and as a result, proper jaw formation (Saloom, 2005). Furthermore, taking good care of the baby teeth reduces the risk of early beginning of childhood gum disease (Serap, Dogan, & Kuru, 2012). In children dentistry, a pulpotomy is a widely accepted clinical procedure that involves removing part of the baby tooth’s nerve, which contains the blood vessels and other tissue that nourish the tooth, when it becomes inflamed or infected. (Erdem, Guven, & Balli, 2011) After the pulpotomy, these teeth can remain healthy and thus perform the remainder of the previously-mentioned functions held by baby teeth. There are several medications used when performing a pulpotomy. Currently, formocresol (FC) is the widespread treatment approach due to its demonstrated clinical success, but recent concerns have been voiced due to its side-effects such as its contained toxins and its cancerous and mutagenic potential. (Block, 2014) Hence, other medications have been proposed as pulpotomy agents. This review will focus on the literature surrounding ferric sulfate (FS) and mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA). We hypothesize that the gravity of the side-effects associated with formocresol and the lower clinical success of ferric sulfate overshadow the financial costs of MTA, which can be reduced over time. Therefore we will attempt to claim and thus recommend MTA as the superior material for performing primary teeth pulpotomies in children.