The purpose of this study was to compare clinically and radiographically the effects of potassium nitrate in polycarboxylate cement and mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) as pulpotomy agents in vital immature mandibular first molars.
The trial design was a parallel randomized, 1:1 allocation ratio, with both the participants and the data assessor blinded. A total of 50 molars of 48 eligible children aged 6–9 years were studied. The children had mandibular immature first molars with extensive caries that revealed pulp exposure during caries excavation. Patients were randomly allocated equally into 2 groups in which potassium nitrate in polycarboxylate cement (the intervention group) and MTA (the control group) were used as pulpotomy biomaterials. The treated teeth were restored permanently. The primary outcome was clinical/radiographic assessment after 1 week, 6 months, and 12 months. The secondary outcomes were radiometric analysis at 6 and 12 months to determine dimensional changes during maturogenesis. The digital radiographs were imported to image processing software to perform radiometric measurements. Data were tabulated and statistically analyzed with significance set at P ≤ .05.
Only a single tooth failed at the 6-month recall, and another one was lost during recall in each group. Thus, the overall success rate for cases/group who finally attended the 12-month follow-up time point was 92% (23/25) with no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups. At the 12-month recall, successful cases showed root development with an increase in root length and a decrease in apical foramen width. Complete apical closure was observed in 65.2% of the roots in the intervention group and 52.1% in the control group.
The clinical and radiographic success reported in the present study reveals that potassium nitrate in polycarboxylate cement could be used as a biological and economic alternative to MTA as a pulpotomy agent in vital immature mandibular first molars. Further follow-up for longer periods is recommended.
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Published online: August 31, 2021
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