Objective: To test the hypothesis, derived from a previous short-term (7-day) assessment, that the absence of conventional pulp protection is not responsible for long-term pulp complications of composite resin restorations with self-etching adhesives. Methods: All 150 patients who received the restorations with self-etching adhesives were recalled at least 2 years after the placement of restorations. Of the 47 patients (31%) who responded, 106 restorations aged from 2.2 to 6.5 years were examined for tooth sensitivity and pulp vitality regarding long-term pulp complications. The results were subjected to a multivariable logistic regression analysis with regard to cavity depth, provision of conventional pulp protection and short-term pulp complications. Results: No positive cases were found in the assessment of tooth sensitivity. Four restorations (3.7%) made in deep cavities with conventional pulp protection resulted in pulpectomy due to inflammation, of which three cases presented short-term pulp complications. The 95% confidence intervals for the odds ratios estimated by the multivariable logistic regression analysis were (1.54, ∞) for cavity depth (1.50, ∞) for short-term pulp complications and (0.02, ∞) for conventional pulp protection. Namely, the last variable had no significant effect on long-term pulp complications and thus the hypothesis was verified. Conclusions: The absence of conventional pulp protection was not responsible for long-term pulp complications even in deep cavities with the use of self-etching adhesives. A deep cavity and the existence of short-term pulp complications were two critical predictors for the occurrence of long-term pulp complications.
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