Vital pulpotomy is a single-stage procedure defined as the surgical amputation of the coronal portion of exposed vital pulp. Various pulpotomy-covering medications have been used in the pulpotomy of primary teeth. Formocresol was first used for pulpotomy by Sweet (1904) and since then, it has been the drug of choice in pulpotomy of primary teeth due to the ease of use and high clinical success rate. Nevertheless, formocresol is under close observation due to safety considerations.
Other medications such as glutaraldehyde, calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH) 2 ), and ferric sulfate, have been suggested as possible replacements for formocresol.
The use of electrosurgery as a nonpharmacological pulpotomy technique has been well documented.
Electrosurgery leads to good visualization and homeostasis, and is less time-consuming than the formocresol approach.
In the study conducted by Mack and Dean, the success rate for electrosurgical pulpotomy was significantly higher than that for formocresol pulpotomy.
El-Melgy et al, compared pulpal and periapical tissue reactions to electrosurgery vs formocresol pulpotomy in the primary teeth of dogs. They found that the teeth treated by electrosurgery pulpotomy with either mechanical or electrosurgical coronal pulp removal exhibited less histopathological reactions than the teeth treated by formocresol pulpotomy.
Dean and colleagues did not find any significant difference between the success rates for the electrosurgical and formocresol pulpotomy techniques.
Rivera et al, evaluated postoperative clinical and X-ray findings from 80 primary molars after formocresol and electrosurgery vital pulpotomy. They did not find any significant difference between the two techniques after six months of follow-up.