Outcomes of vital primary incisor ferric sulfate pulpotomy and root canal therapy

J Can Dent Assoc. 2004 Jan;70(1):34-8.


Purpose: To compare ferric sulfate (FS) pulpotomy and primary tooth root canal therapy (RCT) in cariously exposed vital pulps of primary incisors.

Methods: A total of 133 incisors in 50 children were randomly selected to be treated by FS pulpotomy (64) or RCT (69).

Results: Two years after treatment, 77 incisors (41 FS pulpotomy, 36 RCT) were available for clinical and radiographic examination. There was no clinical evidence of pathosis in 78% of FS pulpotomy-treated and 100% of RCT-treated incisors. Two independent pediatric dentists evaluated periapical radiographs of the treated incisors. Incisors were classified into 1 of 4 treatment outcomes: N, normal treated incisor; H, nonpathologic radiographic change present; PO, pathologic change present, but not requiring immediate extraction; PX, pathologic change present, extract immediately. Survival analysis was applied. A moderate level of agreement between raters was found for incisors with outcome PX (K = 0.54). Intra-rater reliability was substantial for incisors with outcome PX (K = 0.61). No difference was demonstrated in the proportion of FS pulpotomy- and RCT-treated incisors rated PX at the 2-year recall (x2 = 0.6). RCT incisors demonstrated a significantly higher survival rate than FS pulpotomy incisors at 2 years (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Treatment outcomes for RCT incisors were not significantly different from FS pulpotomy-treated incisors at 2 years; however, at 2 years the survival rate of RCT incisors was statistically greater than that of FS pulpotomy-treated incisors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Pulp Exposure / therapy*
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds
  • Humans
  • Incisor / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Pulpotomy / adverse effects
  • Pulpotomy / methods*
  • Radiography
  • Root Canal Filling Materials
  • Root Canal Therapy / adverse effects
  • Root Canal Therapy / methods*
  • Root Resorption / etiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tooth, Deciduous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Root Canal Filling Materials
  • Zinc Oxide-Eugenol Cement
  • ferric sulfate