Association between Orthodontic Force and Dental Pulp Changes: A Systematic Review of Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes

Published:December 06, 2021DOI:



      Orthodontic force triggers a sequence of biological responses that can affect dental pulp. The aim of this study was to systematically evaluate the clinical and radiographic findings of orthodontic force application on dental pulp.


      Two reviewers comprehensively and systematically searched 6 electronic databases (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences [LILACS], Embase, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) and the gray literature (Google Scholar, OpenGrey, and ProQuest) until April 2021. According to the PICOS criteria, randomized clinical trials and observational studies that evaluated clinical or radiographic findings compatible with dental pulp changes due to orthodontic force were included. Studies in open apex or traumatized teeth, case series or reports, and laboratory-based or animal studies were excluded. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool were used to determine the risk of bias assessment. The overall certainty level was evaluated with the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations tool.


      Twenty-six studies were included. Among the clinical findings, orthodontic force promoted an increased pulp sensibility response and decreased pulp blood flow. Changes in pulp cavity volume and increased incidence of pulp stones were the radiographic findings observed. The studies presented a moderate risk of bias for most of the domains. The certainty of the evidence was considered very low.


      Orthodontic force promoted changes in the dental pulp, generating clinical and radiographic findings. It is crucial to know these changes so that orthodontic mechanics can be safely performed. The clinician has effective noninvasive methods to assess the health and possible pulp changes during orthodontic treatment.

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