Basic Research| Volume 38, ISSUE 7, P948-953, July 2012

The Effect of Detergents on the Antibacterial Activity of Disinfecting Solutions in Dentin

  • Zhejun Wang
    Division of Endodontics, Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    Search for articles by this author
  • Ya Shen
    Division of Endodontics, Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Jingzhi Ma
    Department of Stomatology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
    Search for articles by this author
  • Markus Haapasalo
    Address requests for reprints to Dr Markus Haapasalo, Division of Endodontics, Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, UBC Faculty of Dentistry, 2199 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z3.
    Division of Endodontics, Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
Published:April 26, 2012DOI:



      Detergents have been added into different disinfecting solutions to lower their surface tension and to enhance their antibacterial effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of dentin disinfection by different antibacterial solutions in the presence and absence of detergents using a novel dentin infection model and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).


      Semicylindrical dentin specimens were infected with Enterococcus faecalis by centrifugation according to a previously described protocol. After 1 day of incubation, the infected dentin specimens were subjected to 1 and 3 minutes of exposure to sterile water, 0.1% cetrimide (CTR), 2% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), 2% NaOCl + 0.1% CTR, 6% NaOCl, 6% NaOCl + 0.1% CTR, Chlor-Xtra (Vista Dental, Racine, WI), 2% chlorhexidine (CHX), CHX-Plus (Vista Dental, Racine, WI), 2/4% iodine potassium iodide (IPI), and IPI + 0.1% CTR. The specimens were then stained for bacterial viability and examined by CLSM to analyze the proportions of dead and live bacteria inside dentinal tubules.


      More bacteria in dentin were killed after 3 minutes of exposure than after 1 minute of exposure to the disinfecting solutions in all experimental groups (P < .05). The antibacterial solutions with detergents (0.1% CTR, 2% NaOCl + 0.1% CTR, CHX-Plus, and IPI + 0.1% CTR) showed a statistically higher proportion of dead bacteria than the corresponding solutions without detergents (sterile water, 2% NaOCl, 2% CHX, and IPI) (P < .05) except for the 6% NaOCl group (6% NaOCl, 6% NaOCl + 0.1% CTR, and Chlor-Xtra) (P > .05). Six percent NaOCl, 6% NaOCl + 0.1% CTR, and Chlor-Xtra were the most effective solutions, killing over 45% and 65% of the bacteria after 1 and 3 minutes of exposure, respectively. Only 3% to 4% of the bacteria were dead in the sterile water group, whereas 0.1% CTR alone was able to kill 24% to 36% of the E. faecalis cells.


      The addition of detergents in the disinfecting solutions used in the present study increased their antibacterial effects against E. faecalis in the dentinal tubules. When used alone as a single agent, CTR showed antibacterial effectiveness comparable to 2% NaOCl, 2% CHX, and 2/4% IPI.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Endodontics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Zehnder M.
        Root canal irrigants.
        J Endod. 2006; 32: 389-398
        • Haapasalo M.
        • Endal U.
        • Zandi H.
        • Coil J.
        Eradication of endodontic infection by instrumentation and irrigation solutions.
        Endod Topics. 2005; 10: 77-102
        • Cameron J.A.
        The effect of a fluorocarbon surfactant on the surface tension of the endodontic irrigant, sodium hypochlorite. A preliminary report.
        Aust Dent J. 1986; 31: 364-368
        • Palazzi F.
        • Morra M.
        • Mohammadi Z.
        • Grandini S.
        • Giardino L.
        Comparison of the surface tension of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite solution with three new sodium hypochlorite-based endodontic irrigants.
        Int Endod J. 2011; 45: 129-135
        • Giardino L.
        • Ambu E.
        • Becce C.
        • Rimondini L.
        • Morra M.
        Surface tension comparison of four common root canal irrigants and two new irrigants containing antibiotic.
        J Endod. 2006; 32: 1091-1093
        • Stojicic S.
        • Zivkovic S.
        • Qian W.
        • Zhang H.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Tissue dissolution by sodium hypochlorite: effect of concentration, temperature, agitation, and surfactant.
        J Endod. 2010; 36: 1558-1562
        • Portenier I.
        • Waltimo T.
        • Orstavik D.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Killing of Enterococcus faecalis by MTAD and chlorhexidine digluconate with or without cetrimide in the presence or absence of dentine powder or BSA.
        J Endod. 2006; 32: 138-141
        • Shen Y.
        • Qian W.
        • Chung C.
        • Olsen I.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Evaluation of the effect of two chlorhexidine preparations on biofilm bacteria in vitro: a three-dimensional quantitative analysis.
        J Endod. 2009; 35: 981-985
        • Simoes M.
        • Pereira M.O.
        • Vieira M.J.
        Effect of mechanical stress on biofilms challenged by different chemicals.
        Water Res. 2005; 39: 5142-5152
        • Parmar D.
        • Hauman C.H.
        • Leichter J.W.
        • McNaughton A.
        • Tompkins G.R.
        Bacterial localization and viability assessment in human ex vivo dentinal tubules by fluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy.
        Int Endod J. 2011; 44: 644-651
        • Haapasalo H.K.
        • Siren E.K.
        • Waltimo T.M.
        • Orstavik D.
        • Haapasalo M.P.
        Inactivation of local root canal medicaments by dentine: an in vitro study.
        Int Endod J. 2000; 33: 126-131
        • Love R.M.
        Invasion of dentinal tubules by root canal bacteria.
        Endod Topics. 2005; 9: 52-65
        • Ma J.
        • Wang Z.
        • Shen Y.
        • Haapasalo M.
        A new noninvasive model to study the effectiveness of dentin disinfection by using confocal laser scanning microscopy.
        J Endod. 2011; 37: 1380-1385
        • Haapasalo M.
        • Ørstavik D.
        In vitro infection and disinfection of dentinal tubules.
        J Dent Res. 1987; 66: 1375-1379
        • Zapata R.O.
        • Bramante C.M.
        • de Moraes I.G..
        • Bernardineli N.
        • Gasparoto T.H.
        • Graeff M.
        • Campanelli A.P.
        • Garcia R.B.
        Confocal laser scanning microscopy is appropriate to detect viability of Enterococcus faecalis in infected dentin.
        J Endod. 2008; 34: 1198-1201
        • Nagayoshi M.
        • Kitamura C.
        • Fukuizumi T.
        • Nishihara T.
        • Terashita M.
        Antimicrobial effect of ozonated water on bacteria invading dentinal tubules.
        J Endod. 2004; 30: 778-781
        • Peciuliene V.
        • Balciuniene I.
        • Eriksen H.M.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Isolation of Enterococcus faecalis in previously root-filled canals in a Lithuanian population.
        J Endod. 2000; 26: 593-595
        • Giard J.C.
        • Laplace J.M.
        • Rince A.
        • et al.
        The stress proteome of Enterococcus faecalis.
        Electrophoresis. 2001; 22: 2947-2954
        • Tasman F.
        • Cehreli Z.C.
        • Ogan C.
        • Etikan I.
        Surface tension of root canal irrigants.
        J Endod. 2000; 26: 586-587
        • Abou-Rass M.
        • Patonai Jr., F.J.
        The effects of decreasing surface tension on the flow of irrigating solutions in narrow root canals.
        Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1982; 53: 524-526
        • Arias-Moliz M.T.
        • Ferrer-Luque C.M.
        • Gonzalez-Rodriguez M.P.
        • Valderrama M.J.
        • Baca P.
        Eradication of Enterococcus faecalis biofilms by cetrimide and chlorhexidine.
        J Endod. 2010; 36: 87-90
        • Shen Y.
        • Stojicic S.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Antimicrobial efficacy of chlorhexidine against bacteria in biofilms at different stages of development.
        J Endod. 2011; 37: 657-661
        • Haapasalo M.
        • Qian W.
        • Portenier I.
        • Waltimo T.
        Effects of dentin on the antimicrobial properties of endodontic medicaments.
        J Endod. 2007; 33: 917-925
        • Pappen F.G.
        • Shen Y.
        • Qian W.
        • Leonardo M.R.
        • Giardino L.
        • Haapasalo M.
        In vitro antibacterial action of Tetraclean, MTAD and five experimental irrigation solutions.
        Int Endod J. 2010; 43: 528-535
        • Attal J.P.
        • Asmussen E.
        • Degrange M.
        Effects of surface treatment on the free surface energy of dentin.
        Dent Mater. 1994; 10: 259-264
        • O’Brien W.J.
        • Craig R.G.
        • Peyton F.A.
        Capillary penetration between dissimilar solids.
        J Coll Inter Sci. 1968; 26: 500-508
        • Orstavik D.
        • Haapasalo M.
        Disinfection by endodontic irrigants and dressings of experimentally infected dentinal tubules.
        Endod Dent Traumatol. 1990; 6: 142-149
        • Safavi K.E.
        • Spangberg L.S.
        • Langeland K.
        Root canal dentinal tubule disinfection.
        J Endod. 1990; 16: 207-210
        • Williamson A.E.
        • Cardon J.W.
        • Drake D.R.
        Antimicrobial susceptibility of monoculture biofilms of a clinical isolate of Enterococcus faecalis.
        J Endod. 2009; 35: 95-97
        • Clarkson R.M.
        • Moule A.J.
        • Podlich H.
        • et al.
        Dissolution of porcine incisor pulps in sodium hypochlorite solutions of varying compositions and concentrations.
        Aust Dent J. 2006; 51: 245-251