CHICAGO – The American Association of Endodontists (AAE), which represents dental specialists known as endodontists who treat tooth pain and save patients’ natural teeth, released a new position statement on vital pulp therapy.
Vital pulp therapy preserves the vitality and function of the dental pulp after an injury resulting from trauma, caries, or restorative procedures. These procedures have already been widely accepted as an option for treating injured pulps in adult teeth that do not yet have fully formed roots.
This position statement supports vital pulp therapy as a treatment option that providers may offer their patients for adult teeth with injured pulps and fully-formed roots. Previously only root canal therapy or extraction may have been considered for these teeth. Notably, the statement supports complete caries removal, with the feasibility of vital pulp therapy determined by direct inspection of the exposed dental pulp. The statement also addresses (among other considerations) the selection of biomaterials and permanent restoration.
In developing its position statement, a dedicated Special Committee of the AAE based its recommendations on many recent studies demonstrating a high rate of success for these procedures in properly selected cases.
While the paper is presented from the perspective of the speciality of endodontics, its recommendations may be useful to any practitioner in assessing his or her ability to provide vital pulp therapy for the benefit of patients.
The AAE Position Statement on Vital Pulp Therapy (2021) can be accessed online at https://www.aae.org/specialty/clinical-resources/guidelines-position-statements/ and is part of the Association’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the highest standard of patient care.