Aim. To evaluate the cleaning ability of two single-file rotary systems- Self-Adjusting File (SAF) and Wave one (WO) systems in removing the smear layer using sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) + ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) and NaOCl + Qmix as irrigants at apical one-third of the root canal.

Methods. Forty extracted human mandibular premolars were selected and working length was determined. The canal was manually instrumented up to a number 25 size K-file. The roots were divided into the following groups with 10 samples each – Group 1 using SAF: Group 1a- 3% NaOCl + 17% EDTA, Group 1b- 3% NaOCl + Qmix. Group2 using WO: Group 2a- 3% NaOCl + 17% EDTA, Group 2b- 3% NaOCl + Qmix. In the SAF group, the irrigation was performed continuously using the special irrigation apparatus. In the WO group, syringe irrigation was done followed by final irrigant activation using passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI). The roots were sectioned longitudinally and subjected to scanning electron microscopic (SEM) examination. The amount of smear layer was evaluated using a five score index at the apical third level. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi-square test.

Results. Group 1 (SAF) showed better canal cleanliness at apical third compared to Group 2 (WO) with both irrigant combinations and the results were statistically significant (p<0.05). 3% NaOCl + Qmix was equally as effective as 3% NaOCl + 17% EDTA in removing the smear layer with no significant difference between them.

Conclusion. Within the limitation of this study, SAF in combination with 3% NaOCl + Qmix or 3% NaOCl + 17% EDTA should be used for removing smear layer in critical areas of the root canal.


ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid, Qmix, scanning electron microscope, self-adjusting file, smear layer, sodium hypochlorite, wave one file