Susceptibilties of Two Enterococcus faecalis Phenotypes to Root Canal Medications

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This study aimed to investigate and compare the efficacy of selected root canal irrigants and a medicament on a clinical isolate of Enterococcus faecalis grown as biofilm or planktonic suspension phenotype. A cell-dense pellet “presentation” prepared from planktonic phenotype was also tested. Each bacterial presentation was exposed to calcium hydroxide (pH 12.3), 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate, 17% ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid, 10% povidone iodine, or 3.0% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) for a range of time periods (1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, and 60 min). Phosphate buffered saline was used as a control agent. The difference in gradients of bacterial killing among the biofilm, planktonic suspension or pellet presentation was significant (p < 0.05) and dependent upon the test agent except in the case of NaOCl and calcium hydroxide where no difference could be detected. NaOCl was the most effective agent and achieved 100% kills for all presentations of E. faecalis after a 2 min contact time.

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