Antimicrobial activity of four root canal sealers against endodontic pathogens
The antibacterial effects of various types of widely used endodontic sealers have not been compared systematically on facultative or obligate anaerobic endodontic pathogens. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of four commonly used endodontic sealers: two epoxy-resin-based sealers (AH26, AH plus), one zinc-oxide eugenol-based sealer (N2), and one calcium hydroxide-based sealer (Sealapex). The testing microbes were four facultative anaerobic species (Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguis, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus) and four obligate anaerobic species (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Porphyromonas endodontalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Prevotella intermedia). The freshly mixed sealers were placed into the prepared wells of agar plates inoculated with the test microorganisms. After varying periods of incubation (2 days for facultative anaerobic species and 7 days for obligate anaerobic species), the zones of growth inhibition were observed and measured. All the sealers were distinctly different from each other in their antimicrobial activity. The sealers showed different inhibitory effects depending on the types and bacterial strains. N2 containing formaldehyde and eugenol proved to be the most effective against the microorganisms. The extreme antimicrobial potency of this root canal sealer must be weighted against its pronounced tissue toxic effect.
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