Randomized clinical trial to evaluate changes in dentine tubule ccclusion following 4 weeks use of an occluding toothpaste

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Objectives: To determine whether a silicone impression material could precisely replicate dentine tubule changes following 4 weeks toothbrushing with an occluding or non-occluding toothpaste, and whether changes reflected hypersensitivity clinical assessment.

Materials and Methods: This was a single site, examiner blind, parallel, two treatment arm, randomized clinical trial. Participants were healthy, ≥18, with ≥1 sensitive tooth with exposed dentine, Schiff sensitivity score ≥2, and patent tubules with dentine occlusion score 4-5 as determined by scanning electron microscopy of replica impressions. 9 participants received Sensodyne® Rapid Relief (occluding toothpaste) and 10 Crest® Decay Prevention (non-occluding toothpaste), and were re-evaluated for sensitivity and occlusion score after 2 timed minutes and 4 weeks twice-daily home brushing.

Results: Occlusion scores did not correlate significantly with pain scores, but correlations were positive and impressions showed characteristic dentine tubule patency and occlusion. After 4 weeks thermal VAS was significantly lower than baseline for the non-occluding toothpaste, all other pain scores were significantly lower for both treatments. Dentine occlusion scores also decreased after 4 weeks of either treatment, but did not achieve significance (p=0.0625).

Conclusions: Both toothpastes reduced clinical sensitivity and increased tubule occlusion. It is hypothesised that during impression taking some material may have sheared off and occluded tubules resulting in false positives.
Clinical Relevance: This study has demonstrated that a silicone impression material can accurately replicate the dentine surface to demonstrate dentine tubular occlusion and patency, however although the association between occlusion and pain score was positive this technique needs to be refined before use in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number1
Early online date1 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Dentine Hypersensitivity
  • tubule occlusion
  • toothpaste
  • replica technique


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