Pulp Capping – Direct and Indirect

Pulp Capping – Direct and Indirect

Pulp capping is done when a small area of the pulp of a tooth has been exposed or if caries are in very close proximity to the pulp chamber of a tooth.

There are two types of pulp capping, direct and indirect;

  • Direct pulp capping is the application of a material directly over the exposed pulp.
  • Indirect pulp capping is the application of a material on to dentine (which may be carious) that is in close proximity to the pulp chamber.

The material that is used is either a calcium hydroxide cement or ledermix paste or cement, which is then covered with a temporary filling. Both calcium hydroxide and ledermix are sedative dressings which is why they are the material of choice in these circumstances.

Pulp capping;

  • Protects the pulp
  • Reduces or prevents the risk of pain

In some cases (usually indirect method) it promotes the production of secondary dentine and allows the body to form a protective layer over the pulp chamber, thereby allowing the tooth to avoid the need for further endodontic treatment. Most of the time, however, pulp capping is just a temporary measure before a root filling or pulpectomy is done.

About the author

I’ve been a dental nurse for over 13 years, and have worked in various parts of the country in orthodontic practices, general dental practices, within the community dental services, for both NHS and private practices. Within that time I’ve seen quite a few changes, not only with the way services are provided, changes in laws and regulations but also with the use of new materials and more advanced treatments. The one thing that hasn’t changed at all in my time as a dental nurse is the importance of people receiving and understanding clear information about dentistry, treatments, regulations and jobs for example.

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