Efficacy and Efficiency of Papacarie versus Conventional Method in Caries Removal in Primary Teeth: An SEM Study

Saudi J Med Med Sci. 2020 Jan-Apr;8(1):41-45. doi: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_104_18. Epub 2019 Dec 23.


Background: Chemomechanical methods such as Papacarie were developed as alternate dental caries removal methods to overcome major disadvantages of the conventional drilling technique. However, few studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Papacarie for caries removal using scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and efficiency of Papacarie and the conventional bur method in caries removal from primary teeth.

Materials and methods: In this in vitro study, 30 freshly extracted, human primary molars with dentinal caries were obtained from the outpatient clinics at the Dental Hospital of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Each tooth was sectioned mesiodistally into two halves through the center of the lesion, and each half was randomly subjected to caries removal by Papacarie (Group I) and excavation using the conventional bur method (Group II). Time taken (efficiency) for removal of caries was noted using a stopwatch. Samples were then examined under SEM for presence of bacterial colonies (efficacy). For efficiency, data were analyzed using chi-square, and for efficacy, using t-test.

Results: There was no significant difference in the presence of bacteria in both groups under SEM (Papacarie = 23.3%; conventional method = 16.7%; P = 0.52). However, significantly more time was taken for caries removal with Papacarie (mean = 351.56 s) than with the conventional bur method (mean = 158.41 s) (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Papacarie is as effective in removing dentinal bacteria as the conventional caries removal method but is less efficient, as the time taken for excavation was longer.

Keywords: Dental caries; Papacarie; primary teeth; scanning electron microscope.