Efficacy of various irrigation protocols on the removal of triple antibiotic paste

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To compare the efficacy of irrigation protocols on the removal of triple antibiotic paste (metronidazole, ciprofloxacin and minocycline) (TAP) from artificial grooves in root canals.


Root canals in 72 extracted single-rooted teeth were prepared using ProTaper rotary instruments up to size F5. The roots were split longitudinally and a standardized groove was prepared in the apical part of one segment. TAP was placed in the grooves, and the root halves were reassembled. The roots were randomly divided into six experimental groups according to the irrigation protocol used: distilled water, 1% NaOCl, 2.5% NaOCl, 100% ethanol, 17% EDTA and passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI) with 1% NaOCl. The root segments were disassembled, and the amount of TAP remaining was evaluated under a stereomicroscope at 20× magnification using a four-grade scoring system. The data were evaluated statistically using Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U-tests with a 95% confidence level (P = 0.05).


There were significant differences amongst the groups (P < 0.001). Passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI) with 1% NaOCl removed significantly more TAP than the other irrigating solutions (P < 0.05). Distilled water, 1% NaOCl, ethanol and EDTA were associated with significantly more remaining TAP.


PUI with 1% NaOCl was more effective in removing TAP from artificial grooves in root canals than other irrigating solutions without ultrasonic agitation. It was not possible completely to remove TAP from root canals.

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