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Pulp Cap, indirect: Code D3120

Procedure in which the nearly exposed pulp is covered with a protective dressing to protect the pulp from additional injury and to promote healing and repair via formation of secondary dentin.

Indirect pulp capping is a dental procedure performed when the pulp of a tooth is not fully exposed but is at risk of being exposed due to decay or trauma. The goal of indirect pulp capping is to preserve pulp vitality by leaving a layer of affected dentin to protect the pulp and stimulate the formation of a dentin bridge.

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Here are some key points about indirect pulp capping:

Diagnosis: Indirect pulp capping is considered when decay is close to the pulp but hasn’t fully exposed it. The dentist evaluates the risk and determines if the procedure is appropriate.

Dentin Preservation: Instead of removing all the affected dentin, the dentist removes the outer layers of decay, leaving a thin layer of affected dentin next to the pulp. This minimizes the risk of pulp exposure.

Protective Material: A biocompatible material, such as calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), is placed over the remaining layer of affected dentin. This material helps in promoting the formation of a dentin bridge.

Sealing the Cavity: A restorative material is then placed over the protective material to seal the cavity and provide structural support to the tooth. This can be a dental filling or other suitable restorative materials.

Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor the tooth’s response to the indirect pulp capping procedure. X-rays may be taken to assess the formation of dentin and the overall health of the tooth.

Indirect pulp capping is a conservative approach aimed at preserving pulp vitality while avoiding the need for more invasive procedures like root canal therapy. The success of the procedure depends on factors such as the proximity of decay to the pulp, the patient’s overall oral health, and the materials used.

If you have concerns about a specific dental situation or if you think you may need indirect pulp capping, it’s recommended to consult with a dentist for a thorough examination and personalized advice based on your individual case.