Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2841–2850 | Cite as

Temperature evolution of preheated irrigant injected into a root canal ex vivo

  • Ricardo G. Macedo
  • Bram Verhaagen
  • Michel Versluis
  • Luc van der Sluis
Original Article



The aim of this study is to test the influence of the temperature of the surrounding medium, flow rate, duration of irrigation, and apical patency on the evolution of the temperature of irrigants injected in a root canal.

Materials and methods

Thermocouples were inserted into an incisor at different positions to monitor irrigant temperature during and after injection at 21, 45, or 60 °C. The tooth was immersed in a water bath at 21 and 37 °C.


Preheated syringes were used for up to 2.5 min before being cooled down from 60 to below 45 °C. The irrigant temperature was higher apically than at coronal levels (P ≤ 0.028). The duration of irrigation had no influence on the average temperatures during delivery (P ≥ 0.337), but the apical patency lowered the intracanal temperature (P = 0.004). The highest temperature measured on the outside of the tooth was 39 °C.


Preheating the irrigant at 60 °C resulted in temperatures higher than 45 °C throughout the root canal, during irrigant delivery. After completion, the temperature dropped rapidly.

Clinical relevance

These results contribute to a better understanding of the optimum irrigant delivery time at given temperature, the cooling rate of irrigant in the syringe, and the influence of heated irrigant temperature in the periodontium, which should guide the preheated syringe turnover.


Temperature Sodium hypochlorite Root canal irrigant Heat 



The authors are grateful to C. Boutsioukis (ACTA) for critical appraisal of the setup, valuable suggestions, and manuscript revision; R. Cristescu for his help with the CBCT scan and analysis; and I. Aartman (ACTA) for her advice on the statistics.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


The work was supported by the Physics of Fluids Group, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo G. Macedo
    • 1
  • Bram Verhaagen
    • 2
  • Michel Versluis
    • 2
  • Luc van der Sluis
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Dentistry and Oral HygieneUniversity Medical Centre Groningen, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Physics of Fluids Group, Faculty of Science and Technology, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical MedicineUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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