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Article: Volume 44 Number 8 Page 731 - September 2017

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  Dental Update 448: 731-741

Restorative Dentistry/Applied Dental Materials:  Contemporary Strategies and Materials to Protect the Dental Pulp

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Abstract: After cavity preparation, the aim of the restorative dentist is to protect the dental pulp. In the past this was done using cements, but without any understanding of the role of micro-organisms. In contemporary practice, lining materials and dentine-bonding agents are placed with the intention of sealing the dentinal tubules, so preventing microleakage. In cases where potential exposure of the pulp has occurred, bioactive and biocompatible materials may be selected with the intention of facilitating pulpal healing. This paper reviews the historical thinking and compares this with the materials used commonly these days as a result of this greater understanding.

Clinical relevance: The clinician should aim to preserve the health of the dental pulp by using a material to create an environment to facilitate healing and provide protection against the ingress of oral micro-organisms.

Author notes: Stephen J Bonsor, BDS(Hons), MSc, FHEA, FDS RCPS(Glasg), MDFTEd, GDP, The Dental Practice, 21 Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen, UK.

Objective: To appreciate the need to protect the dental pulp after cavity preparation by creating an environment conducive to pulp healing.