Properties and applications of calcium hydroxide in endodontics and dental traumatology.

Department of Endodontics, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, Iran.
International Endodontic Journal (Impact Factor: 2.27). 05/2011; 44(8):697-730. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2591.2011.01886.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Calcium hydroxide has been included within several materials and antimicrobial formulations that are used in a number of treatment modalities in endodontics. These include, inter-appointment intracanal medicaments, pulp-capping agents and root canal sealers. Calcium hydroxide formulations are also used during treatment of root perforations, root fractures and root resorption and have a role in dental traumatology, for example, following tooth avulsion and luxation injuries. The purpose of this paper is to review the properties and clinical applications of calcium hydroxide in endodontics and dental traumatology including its antibacterial activity, antifungal activity, effect on bacterial biofilms, the synergism between calcium hydroxide and other agents, its effects on the properties of dentine, the diffusion of hydroxyl ions through dentine and its toxicity. Pure calcium hydroxide paste has a high pH (approximately 12.5-12.8) and is classified chemically as a strong base. Its main actions are achieved through the ionic dissociation of Ca(2+) and OH(-) ions and their effect on vital tissues, the induction of hard-tissue deposition and the antibacterial properties. The lethal effects of calcium hydroxide on bacterial cells are probably due to protein denaturation and damage to DNA and cytoplasmic membranes. It has a wide range of antimicrobial activity against common endodontic pathogens but is less effective against Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans. Calcium hydroxide is also an effective anti-endotoxin agent. However, its effect on microbial biofilms is controversial.

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    ABSTRACT: Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) is the most frequently isolated strain in failed endodontic therapy cases since it is resistant to calcium hydroxide (CH). Whether a combination of CH and chlorhexidine (CHX) is more effective than CH alone against E. faecalis is a matter of controversy. Thus, the aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. A comprehensive search in PubMed, EMbase, EBSCOhost, The Cochrane Library, SciELO, and BBO databases, Clinical trials registers, Open Grey, and conference proceedings from the earliest available date to February 1, 2013 was carried out and the relevant articles were identified by two independent reviewers. Backward and forward search was performed and then inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. The included studies were divided into "comparisons" according to the depth of sampling and dressing period of each medicament. Meta-analysis was performed using Stata software 10.0. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Eighty-five studies were retrieved from databases and backward/forward searches. Fortyfive studies were considered as relevant (5 in vivo, 18 in vitro, 18 ex vivo, and 4 review articles). Nine studies were included for meta-analysis. Inter-observer agreement (Cohen kappa) was 0.93. The included studies were divided into 21 comparisons for meta-analysis. Chi-square test showed the comparisons were heterogeneous (p<0.001). Random effect model demonstrated no significant difference between CH/CHX mixture and CH alone in their effect on E. faecalis (p=0.115). According to the evidence available now, mixing CH with CHX does not significantly increase the antimicrobial activity of CH against E. faecalis. It appears that mixing CH with CHX does not improve its ex vivo antibacterial property as an intracanal medicament against E. faecalis. Further in vivo studies are necessary to confirm and correlate the findings of this study with the clinical outcomes.
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