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Original Research

Open Access

Primary tooth vital pulp therapy techniques taught in dental schools in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study

  • Ayman M. Sulimany1,*,
  • Mannaa Aldowsari1
  • Saad Bin Saleh1
  • Faisal F. Almajhdi2
  • Omar A. Al Ajlan2
  • Ibrahim M. ALSayyari2
  • Khalid M. Alshehri2
  • Hebah M. Hamdan3

1Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, 11545 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2College of Dentistry, King Saud University, 11545 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

3Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, 11545 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.082 Vol.47,Issue 6,November 2023 pp.86-93

Submitted: 01 March 2023 Accepted: 12 May 2023

Published: 03 November 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Ayman M. Sulimany E-mail:


Worldwide, dental schools employ varying approaches to teaching vital pulp therapy (VPT) for primary teeth. However, little is known about the VPT techniques taught in dental schools in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the approaches of VPT for primary teeth taught in undergraduate dental schools in Saudi Arabia. A nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted between January and June 2022, using an online questionnaire distributed to pediatric dentistry faculty members at all dental schools in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire collected information on socio-demographic characteristics, educational background, work setting, and VPT teaching approaches. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models assessed the association between participants’ characteristics and the VPT techniques taught. Seventy-seven faculty members from 17 out of 27 dental colleges in Saudi Arabia participated in the study. Most respondents reported teaching indirect pulp capping (95%), with glass ionomer cement and calcium hydroxide being the most popular materials. Only 11 participants (14%) taught direct pulp capping, with mineral trioxide aggregate and calcium hydroxide being the most commonly used materials. Pulpotomy procedures were taught in all dental schools, with formocresol being the most commonly used medicament (84%). No significant associations were found between faculty member characteristics and the likelihood of teaching indirect pulp capping. However, older age categories had a significantly higher chance of teaching direct pulp capping (trend odds ratio: 2.27, p = 0.02). In conclusion, most faculty members (95%) reported teaching indirect pulp capping using glass ionomer cement and calcium hydroxide for primary teeth. Only 14%of the respondents taught direct pulp capping, and the use of mineral trioxide aggregate for direct pulp capping appears to be increasing. Formocresol was the most commonly used pulpotomy medicament. Further research is needed to investigate factors that influence the teaching of VPT for primary teeth in Saudi Arabia.


Calcium hydroxide; Direct pulp capping; Indirect pulp capping; MTA; Pulp therapy; Pulpotomy

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Ayman M. Sulimany,Mannaa Aldowsari,Saad Bin Saleh,Faisal F. Almajhdi,Omar A. Al Ajlan,Ibrahim M. ALSayyari,Khalid M. Alshehri,Hebah M. Hamdan. Primary tooth vital pulp therapy techniques taught in dental schools in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(6);86-93.


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