Effect of Removal of the Smear Layer on Apical Microleakage


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Abstract

It has been shown previously that the smear layer created during instrumentation of the root canal promotes apical microleakage. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of removal of the smear layer on apical microleakage, using the fluid filtration method. Thirty-six single-rooted human premolar teeth were used. Six of the teeth were selected randomly as controls, and the remaining 30 teeth were randomly divided into two groups of 15 teeth each. For the first group (group 1) teeth were irrigated with NaOCl only (smear layer not removed). In the second group (group 2) the teeth were irrigated with 15% EDTA, followed by NaOCl to remove the smear layer. Both groups were filled with thermoplasticized gutta-percha (Obtura II) using glass-ionomer cement as sealer. All teeth were stored at 37°C and 100% humidity for 2 days. Apical microleakage of the filled root canal was measured by the fluid filtration technique. Hydraulic conductance was measured by the movement of an air bubble in a capillary tube after a pressure of 200 mm Hg was applied to the system. The mean microleakage rate of group 1 and group 2 were 13.0 (SD ± 5.1) and 16.9 (SD ± 15.3) nl/s, respectively. Removal of the smear layer caused significantly more apical microleakage (p < 0.05, Student's t test) than when the smear layer was left intact.

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