Morphological condition of the pulp of intact and affected by caries third molars

  • Y.P. Kostylenko Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
  • R.V. Talash Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
  • S.M. Bilash Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
  • I.V. Boyko Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
  • O.P. Bukhanchenko Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
  • O.S. Ivanytska Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy (Poltava)
Keywords: caries, third molars, epoxy thin section, enamel, dentine, pulp.


To date, there is a theory that increased resistance to caries is observed in the teeth, which for any reason underwent destructive changes in the pulp. That is why there is a need to study the impact of pulp vitality on the development of the carious process. The aim of the research was to study the microscopic structure of epoxy sections of intact and carious third molars. We studied 4 intact and 6 carious third molars. For this purpose, specimens were made taking into account the free penetration of the fixative solution into the pulp. To this end, immediately after the tooth was removed, we cut off its roots almost near the crown, preserving the integrity of the latter. The method relied on the impregnation of specimens with epoxy resin, according to the method of epoxy plastination of tooth specimens, developed at the Department of Human Anatomy of Ukrainian Medical Stomatological Academy. The epoxy blocks were cut with a disk into two halves until the hard tissues of the tooth crown were exposed together with the pulp. We found that the hard tissues (dentin and enamel coating) of intact third molars did not have any structural defects. However, their pulp chamber contained mainly an amorphous substance, devoid of any typical pulp tissue structures. That is, the pulp was in a state of complete devolution. Quite the opposite presentation was observed in specimens of carious teeth. We found that their pulp chamber contained quite noticeable tissue structures typical of the dental pulp. It is interesting that in the subodontoblastic layer, in front of the carious alteration of the enamel, there was compaction of the pulp, which may be due to infiltration of perivascular connective tissue by immunocompetent cells. It was found that on the border with carious destruction of enamel, there was a compacted spot of altered dentin, whose matrix was intensely pigmented in brown colour, due to the accumulation of melanin on the dentino-enamel junction. Its excessive formation is associated with the destruction of protein-carbohydrate complexes of organic matter in the deep layers of dentin. We found that the pulp compaction and the focus of carious alteration of the enamel are projectively connected by a radial cord of altered dentin, known in the literature as “dead tracts”. Hence, there is reason to believe that the identified changes indicate a latent form of caries, with a pulpogenic mechanism of development. Thus, it can be argued that the teeth, which for any reason underwent degenerative changes in the pulp, are not prone to carious lesions, whereas in carious teeth, the pulp is active and involved in the pathogenesis of the carious process.


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How to Cite
Kostylenko, Y., Talash, R., Bilash, S., Boyko, I., Bukhanchenko, O., & Ivanytska, O. (2020). Morphological condition of the pulp of intact and affected by caries third molars. Reports of Morphology, 26(4), 48-54.