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Researchers now actively recruiting for study into alternative treatments to severe toothache

Researchers now actively recruiting for study into alternative treatments to severe toothache

5th December 2023

A study looking into the efficacy of fresh approaches to treating severe toothache is seeking further general dental practitioners to sign up

The high impact Pulpotomy for the management of Irreversible Pulpitis in mature teeth (PIP) study is looking to improve understanding of the clinical and cost effectiveness of full pulpotomy and root canal treatment for irreversible inflammation in permanent premolar and molar adult teeth.

The full pulpotomy technique is a treatment option that is not currently offered routinely in primary care dentistry. It removes only the damaged part of the pulp of the irreversibly inflamed tooth and may provide a more minimally invasive treatment option which could be quicker, cheaper, and more acceptable to patients.

Since PIP was announced at the start of the year, more than 30 dental practices from Scotland and England have signed up to join the pragmatic clinical trial – commissioned and funded by The National Institute for Health and Care Research, Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme.

Leading the analysis is a collaborative team from the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, King's College London, Liverpool, Sheffield, and NHS Education for Scotland, supported by the NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Oral and Dental Group.

Many Scottish practices are now live, delivering full pulpotomy and root canal treatments to adults in general dental care, or moving through the training pathway. Nevertheless, limited places are available so interested parties are advised to get in touch and register with funding provided to reimburse time spent taking part.

Briefing sessions offer an opportunity for general practitioners to learn more about the study without commitment, while those opting to progress further can take part in two-hour face to face training sessions in London, Liverpool and Dundee using BiodentineTM.

For those who sign up to the study, training attendance also attracts verified Continued Professional Development and expenses are reimbursed.

Multiple practitioners can take part – please contact the team for more details on that through the PIP website where you can also find lots of further information.

Professor Jan Clarkson, Co-Chief Investigator said: “PIP was inspired by initial research into using pulpotomy in children’s teeth instead of root canal treatment which returned encouraging results. However, there are gaps in our knowledge about pulpotomy for adult teeth making this study important for helping to gain a fuller picture, both for general practitioners and patients.

“Patient participants will be followed up for one year and the study will consider clinical, economic, and patient centred outcomes.

“We believe it is also important that everyone participating feels valued. General practitioners will be supported by the study team at every stage, so no prior research experience is necessary, and members of the public are also invited to join the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group, helping the team to ensure effective communication with patient participants so that they remain well informed and supported during the study.

“This is expected to further help retention of patients throughout the study, leading to high quality research that we hope will make a positive difference to patient dental care in the future.”

If you have NHS patients and would like to join the trial or hear more about it, please fill out the Site Initiation Questionnaire (SIQ), or email


This study/project is funded by the NIHR HTA Programme (NIHR129230). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

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