Authors: Baker NA, Eleazer PD, Averbach RE, Seltzer S.
Title: Scanning electron microscopic study of the efficacy of various irrigating solutions.
Journal: J Endod
Date: Apr 1975
Citation: 1(4):127-35
Category: Irrigants and Medicaments
Evidence-based Ranking: 5
Purpose/Objective: To examine the effectiveness of various agents used to cleanse and irrigate instrumented root canals with the SEM.

Materials and methods: 48 extracted single-rooted teeth were mechanically instrumented and irrigated. 24 groups of 2 teeth each were prepared. Groups used several dilutions and combinations of saline, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, Glyoxide, RC prep, EDTA, sodium fluoride and a negative control of no irrigant. Photomicrographs of all specimens were taken of the apical, middle and coronal thirds. The photomicrographs were judged by appearance of the root canal walls and relative presence of dentin filings and tissue debris. The effectiveness was rated from 1-5 with one being the best.

Results: There was no apparent difference in the effectiveness of any of the tested solutions in removing root canal debris. The flushing action of the solutions and not their tissue-dissolving qualities appeared to be the significant factor. The greater volumes of solution seemed to produce better results than smaller volumes of the same solution. Length of time that the irrigating solution remained in the canals did not significantly alter the results.

Conclusion: The removal of debris seems to be a function of the quantity of irrigating solution rather than of the type of solution used.

Reviewer’s comments: This is a study supporting the idea that it is not the kind of irrigant that matters. The most important thing to consider is the volume of the irrigant. The study’s weakness though is the small sample size, which is only 2 teeth per group.