Identification of Cultivable Microorganisms from Root Canals with Apical Periodontitis Following Two-Visit Endodontic Treatment with Antibiotics/Steroid or Calcium Hydroxide Dressings

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The study was aimed at comparing the efficacy of disinfection of root canals with periapical radiolucencies when treated with either antibiotics/steroid medicaments (Ledermix or Septomixine) or a calcium hydroxide paste (Calasept). Microbiological samples were taken before and after two-visit endodontic treatment from 88 canals with apical periodontitis. All of the canals but one (87 of 88) had cultivable growth before treatment. After dressing with Ledermix, Septomixine, or Calasept, the percentages of canals remained with positive growth were 48% (13 of 27), 31% (8 of 26), and 31% (11 of 35), respectively. The χ2 tests showed there were no significant differences in the number of canals with positive growth or mean colony forming units counts after instrumentation, irrigation and dressing. In the Ledermix group, 38 strains of bacteria were recovered. The Septomixine group had 25 strains, and the Calasept group had 25 strains. Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci (including staphylococci and streptococci) were more prevalent than the Gram-negative obligate anaerobic rods after treatment in all three groups. Similarities in the reduced number of canals with residual growth, and the prevalence of Gram-positive facultative anaerobic cocci suggest that the use of different inter-appointment dressings produced similar microbiological outcomes. However, factors other than the antimicrobial effectiveness of intracanal medicaments may also be responsible for the results observed.

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