Potential Correlation between Statins and Pulp Chamber Calcification

By Pettiette MT, Zhong S, Moretti AJ, Khan AA

Date: 01/2013
Journal: JOE

Purpose:

  • This study tested the hypothesis that the systemic administration of statins results in increased dental pulp calcification.

Materials/Methods:

  • N= 90 (45 test, 45 control)
  • Exclusion criteria: Previous pulp cap treatment, history of clenching/grinding
  • Inclusion criteria: (1) 60 years old+, (2) taking a statin medication, and (3) posterior bitewing radiographs with excellent diagnostic quality.
  • Positive/negative control: Age-matched control group of patients not taking any medications was
  • selected.
  • Control & Design: 34 first molars and 56 second molars were selected at University of North Carolina, BW radiographs were taken w/#2 phosphor plates w/Rinn XCP. Exposures of 70 kVP, 7 mA, for 0.2-0.3 s. Measurements taken using single examiner. 4 different linear measurements taken –  2 horizontal, 2 vertical. These were analyzed as ratios, and compared between control and test groups.
  • Criteria of evaluation: Reduced pulp height/width evaluated using Image J software, and analyzed using t tests and multiple linear regression models.

Results:

  • Significant reduction in pulp chamber height noted in statin group compared to control group. 3/45 of molar teeth in test group exhibited near-completed obliteration of pulp chamber (not seen in control group). Not statistically significant for reduction of width on teeth.

Clinical Significance:

Possible odontoblasticactivation by statins may lead to reduced pulp chamber height in patients.  Other factors may be involved in the process: other meds, atherosclerosis, etc, thus reduction may not be strictly due to statins. Larger patient sample needed to study this effect.