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Int Endod J. 2019 Mar;52(3):385-392. doi: 10.1111/iej.13015. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Penetration of sodium hypochlorite into root canal dentine: effect of surfactants, gel form and passive ultrasonic irrigation.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, Araraquara School of Dentistry, UNESP - São Paulo State University, São Paulo, Brazil.
Secretariat of the Mexican Navy, Mexico City, Mexico.



To assess the penetration of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) gel or NaOCl solutions with surfactants, and the effect of passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI) on penetration into dentinal tubules.


Bovine incisor root canals were instrumented, the roots sectioned and the dentine blocks obtained were stained with crystal violet. Dentine blocks (n = 10 per group) were exposed to 3% NaOCl gel or 3% NaOCl solution for 10 and 20 min. Other dentine blocks (n = 10 per group) were exposed to Chlor-Extra (6% NaOCl + surfactant), 6% NaOCl, 2.5% NaOCl with 0.2% cetrimide and 2.5% NaOCl for 10 and 20 min. The penetration depth of irrigants into dentinal tubules was measured in micrometres by viewing the bleached crystal violet under a stereomicroscope. Additionally, bovine incisor root canals, instrumented and stained with crystal violet, were distributed into two groups (n = 10) and irrigated with 2.5% NaOCl with PUI or conventional syringe irrigation (CSI). The penetration depth of irrigants into dentinal tubules was assessed 3 and 7 mm from the apex. Statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA and Tukey tests (α = 0.05).


There was significantly greater penetration of 3% NaOCl solution into dentinal tubules compared with the gel form (P < 0.05). There was no difference (P > 0.05) between 6% NaOCl and Chlor-Extra, and between 2.5% NaOCl and 2.5% NaOCl + cetrimide. PUI significantly increased the penetration depth of NaOCl into dentinal tubules when compared with CSI (P < 0.05).


In extracted bovine incisors, NaOCl gel penetrated less into dentinal tubules than NaOCl solution. The addition of surfactants did not increase the penetration depth. The use of PUI significantly increased NaOCl penetration into dentinal tubules.


dentine permeability; passive ultrasonic irrigation; root canal treatment; sodium hypochlorite; surface-active agents


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