Vital Pulp Therapy of Permanent Teeth with Reversible or Irreversible Pulpitis: An Overview of the Literature

J Clin Med. 2022 Jul 11;11(14):4016. doi: 10.3390/jcm11144016.


Vital pulp therapy (VPT) has been recently proposed as an alternative approach even in symptomatic mature permanent teeth with deep caries' lesions, aiming to maintain the pulp vitality over time and/or to avoid non-surgical root canal therapy (NSRCT). However, to date, the diagnosis of reversible or irreversible pulpitis is only based on clinical pain quantity and quality, without precisely reflecting the pulp inflammation status. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to provide an overview based on the current scientific literature to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of VPT on mature permanent teeth, validating the use of hydraulic calcium silicate-based cements and their role in pain management. VPT may be successfully applied not only in mature permanent teeth diagnosed with reversible pulpitis, but also in permanent dental elements with signs and symptoms of irreversible pulpitis. Hydraulic cements showed favorable outcomes in terms of decrease of pro-inflammatory mediators and of post-operative pain. Pain plays a central role in the chance to perform VPT in mature permanent teeth, since it may be considered as a pre-operative diagnostic criterion as well as a treatment success parameter. In addition, proper assessment of pulp inflammation and choice of appropriate materials are key factors in enhancing VPT success.

Keywords: hydraulic cements; irreversible pulpitis; pain; reversible pulpitis; vital pulp therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.