Calcium hydroxide’s anti-bacterial action relies on high pH. The aim here was to investigate hydroxyl ion diffusion through dentine under different conditions. Teeth were divided into control (n
= 4) and four experimental groups (n
= 10): Group 1—no medicament; Group 2—Calmix; Group 3—Calmix/Ledermix; Group 4—Calasept Plus/Ledermix; Group 5—Pulpdent/smear layer. Deep (inner dentine) and shallow (outer dentine) cavities were cut into each root. pH was measured in these cavities for 12 weeks. The inner and outer dentine pH in Group 2 was significantly higher than all groups. Inner dentine pH in Group 3 was slightly higher than that in Group 4 initially but subsequently comparable. After Day 2, Group 5 had significantly lower pH than Groups 3 and 4. The outer dentine pH in Group 3 started higher than that in Groups 4 and 5, but by Day 28 the difference was insignificant. The time for the inner dentine to reach maximum pH was one week for Group 2 and four weeks for Groups 3 and 4. The time for the outer dentine to reach maximum pH was eight weeks for all experimental groups. Mixing different Ca(OH)2
formulations with Ledermix gave similar hydroxyl ion release but pH and total diffusion was lower than Ca(OH)2
alone. The smear layer inhibited diffusion.
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