Question Asked on 4/30/2014

Postoperative sensitivity: what are the causes and is it still a significant problem?

Answer Response by Dr. Suh on 4/29/2014

Post-operative sensitivity is caused by incorrect bonding techniques, but has become less significant with the introduction of Self-Etch adhesives, which are less technique sensitive than the traditional Etch-and-Rinse adhesives. 

Sensitivity can be caused by:

  • Over etching dentin (with Phosphoric Acid)
  • Under priming of dentin
  • Over aggressively air thinning the adhesive, with excessive air pressure

In addition, the application of a calcium silicate liner on deep dentin can eliminate post-operative sensitivity due to its ability to seal dentin & act as a thermal insulator.

Finally, the addition of a Glutaraldehyde-containing desensitizing agent can also decrease post-operative sensitivity.


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