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J Endod. 2003 Jun;29(6):400-3.

The antimicrobial effect of MTAD: an in vitro investigation.

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Department of Endodontics, Loma Linda University, CA, USA.


Pulp and periradicular diseases are of microbial origin. To effectively clean the root canal system a disinfecting agent must be able to penetrate into difficult-to-reach areas and kill microorganisms with minimal damage to the host tissues. The purpose of this investigation was to test the ability of a mixture of a tetracycline isomer, an acid, and a detergent (MTAD) to kill Enterococcus faecalis and compare its efficacy to that of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The zones of inhibition and minimum inhibitory concentrations were measured for these solutions. Measurement of zones of inhibition and determination of the minimum inhibitory concentrations showed that MTAD is as effective as 5.25% NaOCl and significantly more effective than EDTA (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, MTAD is significantly more effective in killing E. faecalis than NaOCl when the solutions are diluted (p < 0.0001). Measurement of the minimum inhibitory concentrations demonstrated that although MTAD is still effective in killing E. faecalis at 200x dilution, NaOCl ceases to exert its antibacterial activity beyond 32x dilution. EDTA did not exhibit any antibacterial activity. Based on the results of this study, it seems that MTAD is an effective solution in eradicating E. faecalis.

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