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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-98

The wetting ability of root canal sealers after using various irrigants

1 Department of Endodontics and Conservative Dentistry, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College, Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pedodontics, Harsarn Dass Dental College, Ghaziabad, AUttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication8-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hansa Jain
Department of Pedodontics, Harsarn Dass Dental College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jofs.jofs_119_16

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Aims: To evaluate and compare the wettability of root canal sealers after using various irrigants. To determine wettability, we evaluated the contact angle, because lower the contact angle, better the wettability. Green tea has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, it was used as an irrigant. Materials and Methods: Seventy-two freshly extracted, human, single-rooted teeth were used in the study. The roots were split into 144 dentin sections. The specimens were divided into the following four groups having 36 samples each: Group I—sodium hypochlorite 3%, Group II—chlorhexidine (CHX) 2%, Group III—green tea extract, and Group IV (control)—normal saline. The groups were further subdivided based on the sealer used. Results: There was highly significant difference among the mean contact angle values of zinc oxide eugenol sealer, AH Plus sealer, and MTA Fillapex sealer using 2% CHX (P < 0.01). The least contact angle was observed with green tea as root canal irrigant and MTA as root canal sealer (25.20 ± 4.00). Conclusion: The type of irrigant used had an influence on the contact angle of sealer. Among all the irrigants and sealers used in this study, the least contact angle was observed with green tea root canal irrigant and MTA Fillapex sealer.

Keywords: Contact angle, green tea, irrigants, root canal, wettability

How to cite this article:
Mulay S, Ajmera K, Jain H. The wetting ability of root canal sealers after using various irrigants. J Orofac Sci 2017;9:95-8

How to cite this URL:
Mulay S, Ajmera K, Jain H. The wetting ability of root canal sealers after using various irrigants. J Orofac Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Sep 30];9:95-8. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Endodontic treatment plays an important role in achieving and maintaining good oral health by eliminating infection and preserving natural dentition.[1] The irrigants for endodontic use should have very low surface tension. The wettability of the solution governs the capability of its penetration both into the main and lateral canals, as well as into the dentinal tubules.[2] By improving the wettability, an irrigant solution could increase its protein solvent capability and enable better antimicrobial activity in the uninstrumented areas of the root canal system.[3]

Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and chlorhexidine (CHX) are the most common irrigants used in root canal disinfection. CHX gluconate has been suggested as an alternative irrigating solution that could replace NaOCl. CHX is bactericidal because of its ability to precipitate and coagulate bacterial intracellular constituents.[4] Furthermore, its antibacterial action would persist in the root canal for 12 weeks after its use as an endodontic irrigant.[5]

Green tea polyphenols have a potential antibacterial activity against enteric pathogens in addition to anti-inflammatory activity.[6] The tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. The antimicrobial activity is due to the inhibition of the bacterial enzyme gyrase, because of binding it to the ATP B subunit.[7] Green tea exhibits antibacterial activity on Enterococcus faecalis planktonic cells. It is also found to be a good chelating agent.[8]

The purpose of this study was to determine the contact angle of zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and new MTA-based sealers after treating the dentin with 3% NaOCl, 2% CHX, and green tea.

  Materials and Methods Top

This study (Ref No: EC/DYPDCH/Cons/08) has been approved by Institutional Ethical Committee of Dr. D Y Patil Dental College and Hospital on 5th November, 2012. Seventy-two freshly extracted, human, single-rooted teeth were used in the study. The teeth were stored in saline after cleaning the root surface with ultrasonic scaler. Access cavity was made using the Airotor handpiece, with large round bur BR46. Non-end cutting bur EX24 was used to refine and complete the access preparation. Endodontic explorer was used to locate the root canal orifices. No. 10 K file was used to check the patency of the root canal. Barbed broach and K file along with intermittent irrigation using normal saline were used to remove the pulpal tissue and debris.

The decoronation and apical third resection of these teeth was performed using double-sided carborundum disk. All the seventy-two roots were split longitudinally through the root canal in a buccolingual direction with a diamond disk at a low speed, thus making 144 dentine sections of 2-mm thickness. The inner dentinal surfaces were smoothened and placed in 17% ethylene diamine acetic acid (EDTA) for 2 min to remove the smear layer and then were stored in normal saline until use.

The preparation of green tea irrigant was as follows:
  • Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) was used as a solvent for green tea powder.
  • Green tea powder (60 mg/mL) in 10% DMSO was used to prepare irrigant solution.

After surface treatment, the specimens were divided into four groups as follows:
  • Group I—3% NaOCl (n = 36).
  • Group II—2% CHX (n = 36).
  • Group III—green tea (n = 36).
  • Group IV—normal saline (n = 36).

The specimens in each group were immersed for 5 min each into the respective irrigant placed in a  Petri dish More Details. The dentin sections in each group were further divided into three subgroups of 12 specimens each depending on the sealer to be evaluated.
  • Subgroup Z = Zinc oxide eugenol-based sealer (n = 12) (Endoflas).
  • Subgroup R = Resin-based sealer (n = 12) (AH Plus).
  • Subgroup M = MTA-based sealer (n = 12) (Fillapex).

The specimen were dried using blotting paper and were stabilized on a flat glass surface. The root canal sealers were mixed as per the manufactures instruction and the controlled volume of the sealer was dispensed on to the treated dentin specimen using a micropipette. The contact angles of a drop of sealer with the dentin surfaces were measured after 5 min using a contact angleometer.

The contact angles measured were as follows:
  • The contact angle of various sealers in Group I (3% NaOCl).
  • The contact angle of various sealers in Group II (2% CHX).
  • The contact angle of various sealers in Group III (green tea).
  • The contact angle of various sealers in Group IV (normal saline).

The results were tabulated and statistically analyzed using the one-way analysis of variance (one way-ANOVA) test and Students unpaired t-test. Windrop++ software was used.

  Results Top

The contact angle between the dentin surface and zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and MTA-based sealers after using 3% NaOCl was least with AH Plus sealer (29.77) and maximum with Endoflas sealer (50.42). There was no significant difference observed in AH Plus vs. MTA Fillapex sealer (P > 0.05) in 3% NaOCl. The contact angle between the dentin surface and zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and MTA-based sealers after using 2% CHX was least with AH Plus sealer (36.28) and maximum with Endoflas sealer (60.87).

The contact angle between the dentin surface and zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and MTA-based sealers after using green tea was least with MTA Fillapex (25.2) and maximum with zinc oxide eugenol sealer (44.58). There was no significant difference between the mean contact angle values of Endoflas vs. AH Plus sealers (P > 0.05). The contact angle between the dentin surface and zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and MTA-based sealers after using normal saline was highest with Endoflas sealer (72.8) and least with MTA Fillapex sealer (42.58) [Table 1].
Table 1: The mean contact angle of Endoflas sealer, AH Plus sealer, MTA Fillapex sealer using 3% sodium hypochlorite, 2% chlorhexidine, green tea, and normal saline

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On comparing contact angle between the dentin surface and zinc oxide eugenol-based, resin-based, and MTA-based sealers after irrigation with 3% NaOCl, 2% CHX, green tea, and normal saline, the least contact angle was observed when green tea was used as irrigant and MTA Fillapex as root canal sealer [Figure 1] and most when normal saline was used as irrigant and Endoflas as sealer [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Group III/M; angle average: 25.4

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Figure 2: Group IV/Z; angle average: 73.8

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  Discussion Top

The obturation of the root canals using a root canal sealer helps to seal irregularities in the root canal wall such as apical ramifications and deltas, as well as the spaces where the primary root filling material fails to reach. A root canal sealer also acts as a binding agent between the root canal walls and the main root filling material.[9],[10] Thus, adequate flow and wetting are the important physicochemical properties of a sealer during root canal obturation.[11],[12] The adhesion of root canal sealers is mainly influenced by the relative surface free energy (wetting ability) of the intraradicular dentin surface.[13],[14] Hence, the contact angle is a useful indicator regarding the wettability of a liquid.[9],[15]

A liquid tends to spread on a solid surface, which is expressed in terms of the formation of contact angle.[16] When the contact angle is less than 90°, the liquid wets the substrate; if it is greater than 90°, it is said to be non-wetting. A zero contact angle represents complete wetting. Low contact angles are generally associated with a better interaction between a solid surface and a liquid.[17]

In this study, the sessile drop method was used using Digidrop contact angle analyzer (Windrop++). A controlled-volume droplet of each sealer was placed over the surface of a specimen from each group. The volume of each sealer was controlled by means of a micropipette.[18] This was done because any volumetric change could affect the value of contact angle.[19] Within practical limits, the entire experimental procedure was performed under standard environmental conditions, because the surface tension coefficient of liquids is influenced by temperature change and humidity.[20]

In this study, when 3% NaOCl was used as a root canal irrigant, the contact angle was least with AH Plus sealer (29.77 ± 2.99), and there was no significant difference between AH Plus and MTA Fillapex. Using 2% CHX as root canal irrigant, the least contact angle was with AH Plus sealer (36.28 ± 2.77), and the results were highly significant between the sealers. Using green tea as root canal irrigant, the least contact angle was with MTA Fillapex (25.20 ± 4.00). The least contact angle among all the groups was achieved with green tea irrigant and MTA Fillapex root canal sealer.

In this study, when AH Plus sealer was used, the contact angle was less compared to ZnOE sealer irrespective of the irrigant used; however, the contact angle was more in comparison to Fillapex sealer when irrigated with green tea. This finding that increase in roughness resulted in decrease in contact angle is in agreement with Wenzel equation.[21]

When 2% CHX was used, AH Plus sealer had low contact angle; however, the contact angle was larger when compared to NaOCl. Danielle et al. in 2011[22] evaluated the contact angle between the dentin-treated surfaces and AH Plus sealer in the presence of smear layer showing lower contact angle values for samples irrigated with CHX followed by NaOCl and distilled water. When smear layer was removed, CHX showed better results; however, in this case, the use of NaOCl did not favor the spread of sealer. These better results obtained for surfaces irrigated with CHX can be explained by the fact that the presence of surface surfactant in CHX composition increases the dentin surface energy and, hence, its improved wettability required for adhesion.[23]

Deivanayagam and Nagendrababu found that the broad spectrum matrix mellanoprotease (MMP)—inhibitory effect of CHX can significantly improve the resin dentin bond stability.[24] The variation in results found in relation to NaOCl can be explained by the hydrophobic characteristic of AH Plus sealer.[5] After the removal of the smear layer, the use of NaOCl causes deproteinization that results in a hydrophilic surface,[25] which does not favor the hydrophobicity of sealer.[22]

In this study, when Endoflas sealer was used, it showed poor wetting of dentin as compared to the other sealers. Among the irrigants used, Endoflas sealer had lowest contact angle with green tea irrigant (44.58 ± 4.54). In contrast to the study by Evangelos in 2007, conventional sealers AH26 and Roth 801 documented lower contact angles than those of silicon-based sealer (RSA Roekoseal) on dentin and gutta-percha after 5 and 60 min, respectively. This finding was obtained perhaps as a result of the different synthesis of each sealer. Synthesis is a basic factor that influences critical surface tension.[26]

Muralidhar et al. in 2011 evaluated and compared the wetting behavior of zinc oxide eugenol, AH Plus, and GuttaFlow sealers. The contact angle values with AH Plus sealer was significantly lower when compared with the other two sealer groups. A superior wetting of AH Plus sealer on the root dentin could be because of its ability to penetrate better into the micro-irregularities. The poor surface wetting of ZnOE sealer could be due to the increased viscosity of the sealer.[19] The good adhesive property of AH Plus sealer as shown in the investigations by Nunes et al.[27] and Eldeniz et al.[28] support the results of this study.The reason for better wettability of AH Plus sealer when the root dentin surfaces were treated with both EDTA and NaOCl could be due to the intimate contact of the sealer with the dentin surface and the penetration of the sealer in the dentinal tubules as a result of the complete removal of the smear layer.[27]

There are no documented studies till date regarding the wettability of green tea as root canal irrigant. In this study, after using green tea as irrigant, the contact angle was least with Fillapex sealer (25.20 ± 4.00), followed by AH Plus (44.24 ± 2.175) and Endoflas (44.58 ± 4.54) sealers. This means that when green tea is used as root canal irrigant, the wettability of MTA Fillapex sealer is improved.

Published literature on MTA Fillapex sealer and the use of green tea as root canal irrigant is negligible. More clinical studies are warranted to substantiate the results of this in-vitro study, which uses the relatively new MTA-based root canal sealer and the novel usage of herbal green tea as root canal irrigant.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]

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