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Indian J Dent Res. 2018 Sep-Oct;29(5):594-599. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_143_15.

Reverse rotary instrumentation in the apical third of the root canal system: An scanning electron microscope analysis.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, A.B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Nitte University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.



The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of reverse rotary instrumentation in disinfection of the root canal at the apical third and qualitative confirmatory analysis using the scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Subjects and Methods:

Sixty single-rooted mandibular premolars were instrumented up to Protaper rotary file size F2 and contaminated with a known species of Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC 29212). The samples were then divided into three groups; Group 1: Experimental group-irrigation by agitation of 1% NaOCl with reverse rotary instrumentation; Group 2: Negative control-no irrigation; and Group 3 positive control-irrigation with 1% NaOCl using a 30-gauge needle. The colony forming units of all the groups were checked. SEM analysis of the samples was focused on the apical third to confirm the absence of E. faecalis biofilms. The data obtained were statistically analyzed by the Fisher's exact test and Pearson's Chi-square test.


Group I and III showed significant reduction in the growth of E. faecalis (P ≤ 0.001). SEM confirmed dense bacterial colonies in the Group II consistent with biofilm formation and reduction in bacterial colonies in Group I and II.


Agitation with reverse rotary instrumentation in the apical third of the root canal along with 1% sodium hypochlorite proved effective in disinfection of the apical third of the root canal, which was further confirmed by scanning electron microscopic analysis. Hence, it can be used as an adjunct during rotary instrumentation in efficient cleansing of the root canal system in the apical third of the root canal system.


Apical third; Enterococcus faecalis; disinfection; reverse rotary instrumentation; sodium hypochlorite

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