Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of three irrigation techniques for smear-layer removal with 17% EDTA. Background data: Cleaning and shaping the root canal system during endodontic treatment produces a smear layer and hard tissue debris. Three irrigation techniques were tested for solution infiltration of this layer: positive-pressure irrigation, passive ultrasonic irrigation, and laser-activated irrigation. Materials and methods: Sixty extracted teeth were divided into six equal groups; 17% EDTA was used for 60?sec irrigation of five of the groups. The groups were as follows: Group 1, treated only with ProTaper™ F3 Ni-Ti files; Group 2, positive-pressure irrigation, with a syringe; Group 3, passive ultrasonic irrigation, inserted 1?mm short of the working length; Group 4, passive ultrasonic irrigation, inserted in the upper coronal third of the root; Group 5, Er:YAG laser-activated irrigation, inserted 1?mm short of the working length; and Group 6, Er:YAG laser-activated irrigation, inserted in the upper coronal third of the root. Results: Scanning electron microscopy showed that the smear layer is removed most efficiently using laser-activated irrigation at low energy with 17% EDTA, inserted either at the working length or only in the coronal upper third of the root. Amounts of Ca, P, and O were not significantly different on all treated dentin surfaces. Conclusions: Smear-layer removal was most effective when the root canals were irrigated using Er:YAG laser at low energy with 17% EDTA solution. Interestingly, removal of the smear layer along the entire canal was similar when the laser was inserted in the upper coronal third and at 1?mm short of the working length of the root canal. This effect was not observed with the ultrasonic and positive-pressure techniques.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.