Evaluation of the smear layer removal effectiveness of EDTA using two techniques: An SEM study

TINAZ A. C., Karadag L. S., ALAÇAM T., Mihçioglu T.

Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, vol.7, no.1, pp.9-16, 2006 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.5005/jcdp-7-1-9
  • Journal Name: Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.9-16
  • Keywords: Cotton wrapped on reamer, EDTA, Smear layer, Ultrasonic activation
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


Obtaining the cleanest canal possible before obturation is one of the goals of endodontic treatment. The purpose of this study was to compare the smear layer removal capability of ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) application with passive ultrasonic and cotton wrapped on reamer activation. Twelve extracted human teeth with single root canals were used for the study. They were conventionally hand instrumented using reamers and K files. The apical aspect of the canals was enlarged to a #40 file. The teeth were divided into 4 four groups, instrumented and irrigated as follows: Group-A EDTA agitated at the end of preparation with cotton wrapped on a reamer for 1 min; Group-B EDTA applied with ultrasonic agitation for 1 min; Group-C irrigated with EDTA+sodium hypochlorite (NaOCI) (negative control group); and Group-D irrigated with distilled water (positive control group). After scanning electron microscopic study at three different levels, smear layer and dentinal tubules were scored. Means were tested for significance using the Z test. When the techniques were compared, the cotton wrapped on reamer agitation method was as successful as the ultrasonic activation of the files. Although all groups had significantly higher smear layer scores at apical compared to coronal sections, no significant differences were recorded.