Basic Research| Volume 40, ISSUE 11, P1846-1854, November 2014

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Hydration of Biodentine, Theracal LC, and a Prototype Tricalcium Silicate–based Dentin Replacement Material after Pulp Capping in Entire Tooth Cultures

Published:August 22, 2014DOI:



      The calcium-releasing ability of pulp-capping materials induces pulp tissue regeneration. Tricalcium silicate–based materials produce calcium hydroxide as a by-product of hydration. Assessment of hydration and calcium ion leaching is usually performed on samples that have been aged in physiological solution for a predetermined period of time. The hydration and activity of the materials in vivo may not be similar to those displayed in vitro because of insufficient fluid available in contact with dentin. The aim of this research was the assessment of hydration of Biodentine, Theracal LC, and a prototype radiopacified tricalcium silicate–based material after pulp capping and to compare it with direct hydration in an aqueous solution.


      The extent of hydration of Biodentine, Theracal LC, and a prototype radiopacified tricalcium silicate–based material with a similar composition to Biodentine but not incorporating the additives was assessed by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy of polished specimens after being allowed to hydrate in Hank's balanced salt solution for 14 days. The extent of hydration was compared with material hydration when used as direct pulp capping materials by using a tooth culture model. Material activity was also assessed by x-ray diffraction analysis to investigate the deposition of calcium hydroxide by the materials, and calcium ion leaching in Hank's balanced salt solution was assessed by ion chromatography.


      Biodentine and the prototype tricalcium silicate cement hydrated and reaction by-products were deposited in the cement matrix both after pulp capping and when incubated in an aqueous solution. Calcium hydroxide was formed, and calcium ions were leached in solution. Theracal LC hydration was incomplete because of the limited moisture diffusion within the material. Thus, no calcium hydroxide was produced, and a lower calcium ion leaching was recorded.


      Theracal LC had a heterogeneous structure with large unhydrated particles because not enough moisture was present to allow hydration to proceed. Biodentine composition was shown to be optimized, and the environmental conditions did not affect material microstructure. Biodentine exhibited formation of calcium hydroxide and calcium ion leaching, which are beneficial to the dental pulp.

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