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Calcium hydroxide: study based on scientific evidences

Carlos Estrela, Roberto Holland


The characteristics of calcium hydroxide come from its dissociation into calcium and hydroxyl ions. The action of these ions on tissues and bacteria explains the biological and antimicrobial properties of this substance. Under the conditions of this retrospective of literature, based on scientific evidences, it is possible to state that: 1. Dentin is considered the best pulpal protective, and calcium hydroxide has proved, through numerous studies, its capability of inducing the formation of a mineralized bridge over pulpal tissue. 2. It is necessary, whenever possible, to provide time for calcium hydroxide paste to manifest its potential of action on the microorganisms present in endodontic infections. The maintenance of a high concentration of hydroxyl ions can change bacteria enzymatic activity and promote its inactivation. 3. The site of action of hydroxyl ions of calcium hydroxide includes the enzymes in the cytoplasmic membrane. This medication has a large scope of action, and therefore is effective on a wide range of microorganisms, regardless their metabolic capability. In microbial world, cytoplasmic membranes are similar, irrespective from microorganisms morphological, tinctorial and respiratory characteristics, which means that this medication has a similar effect on aerobic, anaerobic, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. 4. Calcium hydroxide as temporary dressing used between appointments promotes better results on the periapical healing process than the treatment in one appointment.


Calcium hydroxide;Dental pulp cavity;Intracanal medication;Mineral trioxide agregate;Portland cement

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572003000400002

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