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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2016 Nov-Dec;6(6):509-516. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.195516.

In vitro and ex vivo microbial leakage assessment in endodontics: A literature review.

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Department of Endodontic, Dental Branch of Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


The aim of this study was to perform a literature review of published in-vitro and ex-vivo studies, which evaluated microbial leakage in endodontics in the past 10 years. A comprehensive electronic literature search was carried out in PubMed database for English articles published from 2005 to 2016 using the keywords "endodontics," "in vitro," "ex vivo," "microbial leakage," "microbial penetration," "saliva," "Enterococcus faecalis," "E. faecalis," "endodontic sealers," "temporary filling material," "apical plug," "mineral trioxide aggregate," and "MTA." The keywords were combined using Boolean operators AND/OR. Based on our search strategy, 33 relevant articles were included in the study. There are three main methods for assessment of bacterial microleakage, namely, (A) the dual-chamber leakage model, (B) detection of bacteria using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and (C) polymerase chain reaction. All bacterial leakage models have some limitations and may yield different results compared to other microleakage evaluation techniques (i.e., dye penetration, fluid filtration, or electrochemical tests). The results of SEM correlated with those of microbial leakage test in most studies. Microbial leakage test using saliva better simulates the clinical setting for assessment of the leakage of single or mixed bacterial species.


Dental leakage; endodontics; root canal obturation

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