This study investigated the effect of acemannan (Aloe vera gel polysaccharide) on dentin formation. Primary human dental pulp cells were treated with acemannan. New DNA synthesis, bone morphogenetic protein-2, alkaline phosphatase activity, dentin sialoprotein expression, and mineralization were determined by [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, biochemical assay, western blotting, and Alizarin Red staining, respectively. Then the upper first molars of 24 male Sprague Dawley rats were intentionally exposed and capped with either acemannan or calcium hydroxide. At day 28, the teeth were histopathologically examined and evaluated for the degree of inflammation, dentin bridge formation, and pulp tissue organization. The results revealed that acemannan significantly increased pulp cell proliferation, bone morphogenetic protein-2, alkaline phosphatase activity, dentin sialoprotein expression, and mineralization, compared with the untreated group. The acemannan-treated group also exhibited a complete homogeneous calcified dentin bridge and good pulp tissue organization, whereas neither was detected in the calcium hydroxide-treated and sham groups. In the acemannan-treated group, either mild or no inflammation was found, whereas the other groups had various degrees of inflammation. The data suggest that acemannan promotes dentin formation by stimulating primary human dental pulp cell proliferation, differentiation, extracellular matrix formation, and mineralization. Acemannan also has pulpal biocompatibility and promotes soft tissue organization.