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Bioactive Material Considerations for Vital Pulp-Capping Protocols

By Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS

Performing successful pulp-capping procedures is predicated on many factors, including selecting appropriate materials. In the past two decades, dental product manufacturers have demonstrated significant interest in developing materials that are biocompatible, bioactive, and non-cytotoxic and support dentin bridge formation. Today, a variety of bioactive dental restorative materials are available that promote remineralization and inhibit tooth demineralization. More recently introduced bioactive restorative materials contain calcium silicate, contribute to a more biomimetic restoration, mimic the physical characteristics of tooth structure, and stabilize and protect dental hard tissues. This article reviews the development of bioactive pulp-capping materials in response to demanding clinical requirements.


  • Identify characteristics required of materials used in pulp-capping procedures.

  • Explain the mechanisms involved in the dentin mineralization process.

  • Describe the role of different bioactive pulp-capping material properties in dentin bridge formation.

  • Discuss the bioactive properties of hydraulic calcium-silicate cements.

About the Author

Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS
Professor, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in the Division of Dentistry, Department of Otolaryngology, Chicago, Illinois

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