Hierarchy of variables correlated to odontoblast-like cell numbers following pulp capping

P. E. Murray, Y. Kitasako, J. Tagami, L. J. Windsor, A. J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objectives. Following tooth pulp exposure, pulpal repair is accomplished by dentine bridge secretion by odontoblast-like cells. However, little information is available about the hierarchy of variables, which influence odontoblast-like cell numbers. The purpose of this study was to examine correlations between pulp capping events and odontoblast-like cell numbers. Methods. Two hundered and fifty standardised pulp exposed cavities were prepared in non-human primate teeth according to ISO usage guidelines. Exposed pulps were capped with Calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2], and multi-step and self-etching primer composite resins. Teeth were collected from 3 to 60-days to observe pulp reactions. Statistical analysis was evaluated using analysis of variance. Results. The hierarchy of variables correlated to odontoblast-like cells were the dentine bridge area (P = 0.0001), time since pulp exposure (P = 0.0001), odontoblast numbers opposite the exposure site (P = 0.0002), and pulp capping materials (P = 0.0313). Other pulp capping variables were found to be less likely to be correlated with odontoblast-like cell numbers. Conclusions. The area of dentine bridge formation is directly related to the numbers of odontoblast-like cells, cell activity is time dependent, and the cell numbers are much lower than original odontoblast cells. The time-lag between the appearance of odontoblast-like cells at the site of pulp exposure, and the limited numbers of these cells, explain why pulpal repair is difficult to achieve successfully following pulp exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Composit eresin
  • Dentine bridge
  • Odontoblast
  • Pulp capping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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