Suspensions of micro- or nanoparticulate SiO(2)-Na(2)O-CaO-P(2)O(5) bioactive glasses could potentially be used as dressings in traumatized front teeth with open apices as an alternative to Ca(OH)(2). These materials have a disinfecting capacity similar to Ca(OH)(2), but bear the advantage of bioactivity. However, because bioactive glasses initially act as alkaline biocides just as Ca(OH)(2) does, they may also negatively affect mechanical dentin properties over time. This was assessed in the current study using standardized human root dentin bars. Specimens were immersed in 1:20 (wt vol(-1)) suspensions of nanometric bioactive glass 45S5 or calcium hydroxide for 1, 10, or 30 days. Control specimens were immersed in pure saline for 30 days (n = 20 per group). Subsequently, modulus of elasticity (E) and flexural strength (FS) of the specimens were determined. Results were compared between groups using one-way anova and Scheffé's post-hoc test. Ca(OH)(2) caused a significant (P < 0.001) 35% drop in mean flexural strength values compared to the control treatment after 10 days. No further change was observed between 10 days and 30 days. Bioactive glass caused a 20% drop in mean flexural strength as compared to the control after 10 days. However, this difference did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05). No effects of either material on dentin modulus of elasticity values were observed. It was concluded that the calcium hydroxide suspension affected the dentin more than the bioactive glass counterpart; however, the effect was self-limiting and probably restricted to superficial dentin layers, as suggested by the mere decrease in flexural strength but not in modulus of elasticity values.