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J Endod. 2010 Apr;36(4):732-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2009.12.006. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Effect of final irrigation regimen on sealer penetration in curved root canals.

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  • 1Department of Conservative Dentistry, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of different final irrigation regimens on the sealer penetration into dentinal tubules of curved root canals.


The mesiobuccal canals from 45 extracted maxillary and mandibular molars were instrumented with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) irrigation. The samples were divided into 3 groups according to the final irrigation used: group N (control), 3.5% NaOCl; group E, 17% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA); and group EN, 17% EDTA followed by 3.5% NaOCl. All teeth were obturated with gutta-percha and AH Plus sealer labeled with fluorescent dye. Transverse sections at 2 mm (apical) and 5 mm (coronal) from root apex were examined by using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Then, total percentage and maximum depth of sealer penetration were measured.


The apical sections in each group showed significantly lower percentage and maximum depth of sealer penetration than the coronal sections (P < .05). In apical levels, group E and EN resulted in a higher percentage of sealer penetration than the control group (P < .05), but there was no significant difference of maximum depth between group E and the control group (P > .05).


In curved canal, final rinse with NaOCl after the use of EDTA had no additional effect on sealer penetration. Complete debridement with a 1-minute application of EDTA remains a challenge in the apical area of curved canals.

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