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Exploring the properties of formocresol in dentistry---a comprehensive review

  • Rakhi Issrani1,*,
  • Namdeo Prabhu2
  • Alzarea K. Bader3
  • Afrah Yousef Alfayyadh4
  • Khluod Khalifah Alruwaili4
  • Sarah Hatab Alanazi4
  • Kiran Kumar Ganji1,5
  • Mohammad Khursheed Alam1,6,7

1Department of Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Jouf University, 72388 Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

2Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jouf University, 72388 Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

3Department of Prosthetic Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Jouf University, 72388 Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

4College of Dentistry, Jouf University, 72388 Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

5Department of Periodontics and Implantology, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Datta Meghe Institute of Higher Education & Research, Sawangi (Meghe), 442001 Wardha, India

6Center of Transdisciplinary Research (CFTR), Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, 602105 Chennai, India

7Department of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Daffodil International University, 1341 Dhaka, Bangladesh

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.020 Vol.47,Issue 3,May 2023 pp.1-10

Submitted: 25 November 2022 Accepted: 17 January 2023

Published: 03 May 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Rakhi Issrani E-mail:;


Due to concerns about formocresol’s mutagenic and genotoxic potential, its use as a pulpotomy medication is currently debatable. The current paper aimed to review the properties of formocresol and concerns regarding its safety as a pulpotomy medicament for primary teeth. With reference to the context of the recently published literature, the alternatives to formocresol are discussed, together with their benefits and drawbacks. A literature search was conducted using multiple databases comprising of MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, and Web of Science. The terms used for the search were “formocresol”, “pulpotomy”, and “primary teeth”. In total, 364 articles were obtained from the analysis of the databases. Unrelated articles from the available full text of 174 articles were excluded. The main reasons for excluding the articles were: they were usage and precautionary guidelines. A total of 68 studies were finally included in the review. The literature review in this paper supports the notion that formocresol continues to be the most often utilized pulp dressing agent in primary teeth pulpotomies despite offering no advantages over other pulp dressing chemicals that are currently on the market.


Chemical; Dental; Formaldehyde; Primary teeth; Pulpotomy

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Rakhi Issrani,Namdeo Prabhu,Alzarea K. Bader,Afrah Yousef Alfayyadh,Khluod Khalifah Alruwaili,Sarah Hatab Alanazi,Kiran Kumar Ganji,Mohammad Khursheed Alam. Exploring the properties of formocresol in dentistry---a comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(3);1-10.


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