Aim To present a systematic review of the effects of formocresol and ferric sulphate when used as medicaments in pulpotomized primary molar teeth.
Methodology The study list was obtained by using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE and SCI search. Only those papers which met the inclusion criteria were accepted. The quality of studies used for meta-analysis was assessed by a series of validity criteria according to Jadad's scale. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed.
Results Eleven clinical studies comprising four randomized-clinical trials (RCTs), four controlled clinical trials (CCTs) and three retrospective studies were included. The results of the meta-analysis of six prospective clinical trials suggested that the two popular pulpotomy medicaments were not significantly different in terms of clinical outcomes, radiographic findings, prevalence of apical and furcal destruction, internal root resorption or pulp canal obliteration. The relative risk (RR) value and 95% CI for those parameters were 0.72 (0.43–1.23), 0.87 (0.59–1.30), 0.67 (0.27–1.66), 1.77 (0.56–5.58) and 1.41 (0.63–3.15), respectively. The overall clinical and radiographic success rates based on the data of treatments with ferric sulphate from the 11 studies included ranged from 78% to 100% (mean 91.6 ± 8.15%) and from 42% to 97% (mean 73.5 ± 18.40%), respectively.
Conclusions In primary molar teeth with exposure of vital pulps by caries or trauma, pulpotomies performed with either formocresol or ferric sulphate have similar clinical and radiographic success. Ferric sulphate may be recommended as a suitable replacement for formocresol.