Objective: This clinical study aimed to assess the efficacies of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] in the treatment of deep carious lesions by the direct complete caries removal technique.
Methods and materials: A total of 100 permanent molar/premolar teeth were capped with either Ca(OH)2 (n=49) or MTA (n=51) and restored with composite resin in 73 patients. Periapical radiographs were acquired prior to the treatment as well as at six, 12, and 24 months posttreatment. Two calibrated examiners performed the clinical and radiographic assessment of the periapical pathology and pulpal symptoms. Intergroup comparisons of the observed values were performed using the Fisher exact test. Significance was predetermined at α = 0.05.
Results: The recall rates were 100% at six and 12 months posttreatment and 98.6% at 24 months posttreatment. Four teeth capped with Ca(OH)2 (two each at six and 12 months posttreatment) and two capped with MTA (one each at 12 and 24 months posttreatment) received endodontic emergency treatment because of symptoms of irreversible pulpitis, which were clinically and/or radiographically established. There were no significant differences in pulp vitality between the two pulp-capping agents at six, 12, or 24 months posttreatment (p=0.238, p=0.606, and p=0.427, respectively).
Conclusions: Both pulp-capping materials were found to be clinically acceptable at 24 months posttreatment.