Residual Effectiveness of Final Irrigation Regimens on Enteroccus faecalis–infected Root Canals



      The application of a final irrigating solution that remains active over a fairly long period of time stands as one strategy for preventing bacterial recolonization or eliminating the bacteria that persist after root canal treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the residual antimicrobial activity of four final irrigation regimens in root canals contaminated with Enterococcus faecalis.


      Biofilms of E. faecalis were grown in uniradicular roots for 4 weeks. After preparing the roots chemomechanically, four final irrigation regimens were applied: (1) group EDTA-NaOCl, 17% EDTA followed by 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl); (2) group MA-NaOCl, 7% maleic acid (MA) followed by 5.25% NaOCl; (3) group EDTA-CHX + CTR, 17% EDTA followed by 2% chlorhexidine (CHX) + 0.2% cetrimide (CTR); and (4) group MA-CHX + CTR, 7% MA followed by 2% CHX + 0.2% CTR. Samples were collected for 60 days to denote the presence of bacterial growth. The Fisher exact test was used to compare the percentages of specimens without E. faecalis regrowth.


      All root canals in which the final irrigant was 5.25% NaOCl yielded positive cultures on the fifth day. Groups EDTA-CHX + CTR and MA-CHX + CTR with a final irrigation of 2% CHX + 0.2% CTR showed respective percentages of samples without regrowth of 72.1% and 66.8% at 60 days. There were no statistically significant differences between these groups.


      The combination of 2% CHX + 0.2% CTR would be an effective alternative final irrigation regimen given its antimicrobial action over time.

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