Efficacy of Flowable Gel-type EDTA at Removing the Smear Layer and Inorganic Debris under Manual Dynamic Activation

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A flowable gel-type EDTA solution containing urea peroxide and polyacrylic acid was recently introduced into the endodontic market. However, its efficacy for removing the smear layer and inorganic debris remains unknown. This study was performed to investigate the relative efficacies of the flowable gel-type and liquid-type EDTA solutions for removal of the smear layer and inorganic debris. We also evaluated the effects of manual dynamic activation (MDA).


Wettability was evaluated by measuring the contact angle. The incidence of accidental extrusion of irrigant was determined. The effervescent effect was evaluated by mixing the solutions with sodium hypochlorite. The efficacies of the EDTA solutions at removing the smear layer and inorganic debris were evaluated by scanning electron microscopic examination.


The contact angles of the 2 EDTA solutions did not differ significantly throughout the experiment (P > .05). Accidental extrusion occurred 4 times for the liquid-type EDTA but never for the gel-type EDTA. The gel-type but not the liquid-type EDTA showed an effervescent effect. The EDTA/MDA treatment combinations did not produce significantly different smear layer scores (P > .05). However, the debris scores for the coronal and middle parts were significantly lower for the gel-type EDTA with MDA than for the liquid-type EDTA without MDA (P < .05).


Our results suggest that the newly introduced gel-type EDTA might be an acceptable irrigant for removing the smear layer and inorganic debris present on the root canal wall.

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