The study aimed to histologically evaluate wound healing of exposed human pulp on direct pulp capping using super-pulsed CO2 laser preirradiation. In this single-blind clinical trial, 28 third molar teeth of 17 volunteers were randomly capped with either CO2 laser irradiation (n=14) or Dycal (calcium hydroxide cement; n=14) and restored using resin composite. The laser was operated in super-pulsed mode (pulse duration, 0.2 ms; interval, 5.8 ms; 0.003 J/pulse). The irradiation conditions were a power output of 0.5 W, an irradiation time of 15 seconds, repeat mode (10-ms irradiation and 10-ms intervals, for a total beam exposure time of 7.5 seconds), total applied energy of 3.75 J, and an activated air-cooling system. Each tooth was extracted at six or 12 months posttreatment and prepared for histological evaluation. We evaluated the parameters of pulp tissue disorganization, inflammatory cell infiltration, reparative dentin formation (RDF), and bacterial penetration. There were no significant differences between groups for all parameters at each postoperative period (Mann-Whitney U-test, p>0.05). CO2 laser irradiation completely controlled bleeding and exudate from the exposed pulp. The CO2 laser group had a tendency to delay RDF compared with the Dycal group, but 4 of 7 teeth from the CO2 laser group showed a complete dentin bridge at 12 months posttreatment.

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