Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 1271–1280 | Cite as

Management of deep carious lesions and pulps exposed during carious tissue removal in adults: a questionnaire study among dentists in Finland

  • Katri CroftEmail author
  • Sari Kervanto-Seppälä
  • Lina Stangvaltaite
  • Eero Kerosuo
Original Article



To find out which management methods are preferred by dentists in Finland for a deep carious lesion or a pulp exposed during carious tissue removal in adult patients.

Materials and methods

An electronic questionnaire consisting of 25 questions was sent to 1000 randomly sampled dentists in Finland. The response rate was 32%.


Less invasive excavation strategies (stepwise or selective removal) were preferred by 64% for an asymptomatic deep lesion, while 34% chose nonselective removal to hard dentine. In the presence of an asymptomatic pulpal exposure, vital pulp therapy was preferred, as 71% of the respondents chose direct pulp capping (DPC) or partial pulpotomy, compared to root canal treatment (26%). Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and calcium hydroxide-based materials were both chosen by 40% for vital pulp therapy. In the management of a deep carious lesion, less invasive excavation strategies were significantly associated with having clinical guidelines vs. no guidelines at the practice [odds ratio (OR) 3.5, confidence interval (CI) 1.4–9.0]. MTA was favored over other DPC materials significantly more often by those who had attended continuing education courses during the last 3 years (OR 2.8, CI 1.2–6.5).


Less invasive management strategies have been adopted into clinical practice by the majority of dentists in Finland. There is a need to encourage the use of MTA in the case of a pulpal exposure.

Clinical relevance

The results of this study can be utilized in continuing education, to raise awareness of management strategies supported by present scientific evidence.


Deep carious lesion Carious exposure Caries removal Direct pulp capping MTA 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Hannu Vähänikkilä for his kind advice on statistical analysis.


This study was supported by the Finnish Association of Women Dentists.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required, as by replying to the questionnaire each respondent showed their willingness to participate.

Supplementary material

784_2018_2556_MOESM1_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 76 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial DiseasesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Vantaa Health CenterVantaaFinland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Dentistry, Faculty of Health SciencesUiT The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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