Background and aim: Comparison of different irrigation and agitation methods for the removal of two types of calcium hydroxide medicaments from the root canal walls.

Methods: Fifty extracted single rooted teeth were selected for this study. After decoronation, the root canals of these teeth were prepared to the size F3 (30 no.) using rotary ProTaper file system. These samples were randomly divided into four groups. Group 1 (n=20) were filled completely with water based calcium hydroxide (CH), Group 2 (n=20) were filled with oil based CH using lentulo spiral, Group 3 (n=5) - the positive control group received the CH as intracanal medication, but no subsequent removal, Group 4 (n=5) - the negative control did not receive CH placement. Further on, Group 1 and Group 2 were divided into four sub-groups (n=5). In sub-group A we performed conventional syringe irrigation with side-vented needle sub-group B) manual dynamic agitation, sub-group C sonic agitation using endoactivator, sub-group D passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI). Roots were split longitudinally into mesial and distal halves. Digital images of the root canal walls were acquired by a Dental Operating Microscope (DOM) and assessed by using a scoring criteria at different thirds (coronal, middle and apical) of the root canal as follows: score 1, score 2, score 3, and score 4. Data were analyzed applying one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s multiple comparison tests at a 95% confidence interval (P < 0.05).

Results: Statistically significant differences were not found between the experimental groups and the negative group in any one third of the root canal (P>0.05). However, a difference did exist between the experimental groups and the positive control group (P<0.05). None of the experimental groups totally removed CH substances from root canal walls.

Conclusion: Among all experimental groups, removal of CH was best achieved by sonic agitation using endoactivator followed by passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI), manual dynamic agitation and conventional syringe irrigation with side-vented needle.


calcium hydroxide, endoactivator system, intracanal medication, sonic irrigation