Purpose: With success rates comparable to that of root canal treatment, vital pulp therapy (VPT) has gained clinical interest and has been used in the management of young permanent teeth with inflamed pulps. The aim of the present study was to retrospectively evaluate the radiographic success of VPT in young first permanent molars 24 months post-treatment and correlate findings with tooth and treatment-related characteristics.
Keywords: vital pulp therapy, pulp capping, pulpotomy, radiographic success, root development
Materials and Methods: Dental records of all patients with first permanent molars which received VPT in the Department of Paediatric Dentistry (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) were retrieved. Demographic characteristics and data regarding the treatment performed were recorded. Patients’ radiographs were evaluated at 6, 12 and 24 months post-treatment by two qualified paediatric dentists blinded regarding the treatment performed. Radiographic success, reasons for failure and continuation of root development were evaluated. Differences were tested using the Χ2 and Student’s t-test, and possible correlations were determined by calculating the odds ratio.
Results: Overall radiographic success rate at 24 months was 77%, ranging between 50% for direct pulp capping and 92% for full pulpotomy. Differences were not statistically significant. Continuation of root development was recorded in almost 1/3 of the teeth and completion in almost 1/5. No statistically significant association was recorded between the outcome and any tooth and treatment-related variables.
Conclusion: VPT seems to be a reliable option in the long term for the treatment of deep carious lesions in young permanent molars.