Effect of Photon-Initiated Photoacoustic Streaming, Passive Ultrasonic, and Sonic Irrigation Techniques on Dentinal Tubule Penetration of Irrigation Solution: A Confocal Microscopic Study

Akcay M, Arslan H, Mese M, Durmus N, Capar ID.
Clin Oral Investig. 2017;21(7):2205–2212.


Objectives: The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the efficacy of different irrigation techniques including laser-activated irrigation using an erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) laser with a novel tip design (photon-induced photoacoustic streaming (PIPS)), Er:YAG laser with Preciso tip, sonic activation, and passive ultrasonic activation on the final irrigation solution penetration into dentinal tubules by using a laser scanning confocal microscope.

Material and methods: In this study, 65 extracted single-rooted human mandibular premolars were instrumented up to size 40 and randomly divided into 5 groups (n = 13) based on the activation technique of the final irrigation solution as follows: conventional irrigation (control group), sonic activation, passive ultrasonic activation, Er:YAG-PIPS tip activation, and Er:YAG-Preciso tip activation. In each group, 5 mL of 5% NaOCl labeled with fluorescent dye was used during the activation as the final irrigation solution. Specimens were sectioned at 2.5 and 8 mm from the apex and then examined under a confocal microscope to calculate the dentinal tubule penetration area. Data were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey's post hoc tests (P = 0.05).

Results: Both Er:YAG laser (Preciso/PIPS) activations exhibited a significantly higher penetration area than the other groups (P < 0.05). Additionally, passive ultrasonic activation had significantly higher penetration than the sonic activation group and the control group. Statistically significant differences were also found between each root canal third (coronal > middle > apical) (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results from the present study support the use of Er:YAG laser activation (Preciso/PIPS) to improve the effectiveness of the final irrigation procedure by increasing the irrigant penetration area into the dentinal tubules.

Clinical relevance: The activation of the irrigant and the creation of the streaming with the Er:YAG laser have a positive effect on the irrigant penetration.

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