The dental pulp is a unique tissue and its importance in the long-term prognosis of the tooth is often ignored by clinicians. It is unique in that it resides in a rigid chamber which provides strong mechanical support and protection from the microbial rich oral environment. If this rigid shell loses its structural integrity, the pulp is under the threat of the adverse stimuli from the mouth, such as caries, cracks, fractures and open restoration margins, all of which provide pathways for micro-organisms and their toxins to enter the pulp. The pulp initially responds to irritation by becoming inflamed and, if left untreated, this will progress to pulp necrosis and infection. The inflammation will also spread to the surrounding alveolar bone and cause periapical pathosis. The magnitude of pulp-related problems should not be underestimated since their most serious consequence is oral sepsis, which can be life threatening, and hence correct diagnosis and management are essential. Clinicians must have a thorough understanding of the physiological and pathological features of the dental pulp as well as the biological consequences of treatment interventions.
|Journal||Australian Dental Journal|
|Issue number||Supp. 1|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|