Outcome of Partial Pulpotomy in Cariously Exposed Posterior Permanent Teeth: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Endod. 2019 Nov;45(11):1296-1306.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2019.07.005. Epub 2019 Sep 10.


Introduction: The current systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the success rate of partial pulpotomy in treating permanent posterior teeth with carious vital pulp exposure. A secondary aim was to assess the prognostic factors using a meta-regression.

Methods: An electronic search was performed for studies from January 1950 to November 2018 in the following databases: PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Cochrane. All searches were performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Clinical studies evaluating the success rate of cariously exposed vital human permanent posterior teeth treated with a partial pulpotomy were selected. Only randomized clinical trials and prospective clinical studies were included for evaluation. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Cochrane Collaboration's tool were used to evaluate risk assessment.

Results: From the 218 studies identified through the initial search, 11 studies qualified for the final analysis (5 randomized clinical trials and 6 prospective studies). The results of the meta-analysis indicate a success rate of 98% (confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1), 96% (CI: 0.92-0.99), and 92% (CI: 0.83-0.97) after 6 months and 1 and 2 years of follow-up. Examining the probable prognostic factors using meta-regression analysis, only preoperative pulp status (P = .001) was identified as a significant factor, with studies including teeth with the presumptive diagnosis of irreversible pulpitis displaying significantly lower results. The final solution, pulp capping material, apex closure, and the age of the patient did not affect the treatment success rate (P > .05).

Conclusions: The available data suggest that a partial pulpotomy results in high success rates in treating cariously exposed permanent posterior teeth up to 2 years. Six months of monitoring can be considered an appropriate period when evaluating the success of a partial pulpotomy although more clinical and radiographic controls are essential to ensuring success.

Keywords: Dental caries; dental pulp exposure; evidence-based dentistry; pulpitis; pulpotomy; vital pulp.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries*
  • Dental Pulp Capping*
  • Dental Pulp Exposure
  • Dentition, Permanent
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulpotomy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome