Vital pulp therapy (VPT) is a biologic and conservative treatment modality to preserve the vitality and function of the coronal or remaining radicular pulp tissue in vital permanent teeth. A search was conducted via the Cochrane database, PubMed, MEDLINE, and Ovid for any articles with the criteria for "pulp-capping," or "pulp-capping materials" and "VPT outcomes" from 1978 to mid 2014. All articles were evaluated and the valid papers were selected. The outcomes of various VPT techniques, including indirect pulp treatment, direct pulp treatment, partial pulpotomy, and complete pulpotomy in vital permanent teeth were extracted. Although various studies have different research approach, most studies noted a favorable treatment outcome. Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) appears to be more effective than calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) for maintaining long-term pulp vitality after indirect and direct pulp-capping. However, it seems that the success rate for partial pulpotomy and pulpotomy with Ca(OH)2 is similar to MTA.
Keywords: Dental cements; calcium hydroxide; mineral trioxide aggregate; permanent dentition; root canal therapies.