Outcome of formocresol/ZOE sub-base pulpotomies utilizing alternative radiographic success criteria

Pediatr Dent. 2001 Jul-Aug;23(4):331-6.


Purpose: The purposes of this investigation were to 1) measure success of a primary tooth pulpotomy technique that applies formocresol in the sub-base without the common five-minute application of a formocresol impregnated cotton pellet; and 2) compare success rates of the pulpotomy procedure using traditional criteria found throughout the literature with new criteria recently established, excluding internal resorption as a radiographic failure.

Methods: Clinical and radiographic data were collected from a retrospective chart review of patients receiving formocresol pulpotomies with the application of formocresol in the zinc oxide-eugenol sub-base.

Results: Clinical and radiographic data were available for 196 primary molars in 122 children (followup=six to 103 months; mean=49 months). Traditional assessment of radiographic success and failure yielded a success rate of 79%. Alternative assessment excluding internal resorption as a failure yielded a 99% success rate. Most frequently observed pulpal responses were calcific metamorphosis and internal resorption. Overall clinical success was 99%. Two of the 196 teeth were extracted due to failure. A survival analysis demonstrated that the overall probability of survival remained high over time with a cumulative survival of over 95% after six years.

Conclusions: The overall success rates in this study indicate that the formocresol pulpotomy technique incorporating formocresol in the zinc oxide-eugenol sub-base is a very successful treatment modality for primary molars requiring pulp therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / therapy
  • Dental Pulp / drug effects
  • Dental Pulp Calcification / etiology
  • Dental Pulp Capping
  • Dental Pulp Exposure / therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Formocresols / administration & dosage
  • Formocresols / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Periapical Diseases / etiology
  • Pulpotomy / methods*
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Root Resorption / diagnostic imaging
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Tooth, Deciduous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement / therapeutic use*


  • Formocresols
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement
  • formocresol