Antibacterial efficacy of calcium hydroxide, iodine potassium iodide, betadine, and betadine scrub with and without surfactant against E faecalis in vitro

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2004 Sep;98(3):359-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tripleo.2004.04.023.


Objective: This study investigated the ability of endodontic irrigants and medicaments to eliminate Enterococcus faecalis from infected dentinal tubules, and whether their antimicrobial action was enhanced by surfactant.

Study design: For the study, 5-mm dentin disks were sectioned from bovine incisor roots and infected with E faecalis. Lumens were instrumented, and 1 of 7 medicaments (10% Ca(OH) 2, Betadine, or IKI, each with or without surfactant, or Betadine Scrub) was used to flush and fill each lumen. Positive controls received saline. Specimens were incubated for 15 minutes or 24 hours. Quantitative microbiology of the remaining bacteria was performed and groups were compared using a 1-way ANOVA.

Results: The addition of surfactant did not enhance the antibacterial action of any medicament. When used as a 24-hour medicament, Ca(OH) 2 consistently failed to eliminate E faecalis, whereas both Betadine Scrub and IKI rendered 90% of samples sterile. IKI was the only agent shown to consistently eliminate E faecalis in a 15-minute time frame.

Conclusion: Under the in vitro conditions of this study, IKI was able to eliminate E faecalis from bovine root dentin when used with a 15-minute contact time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Calcium Hydroxide / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Dentin / microbiology*
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects*
  • Iodine Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology
  • Root Canal Irrigants / pharmacology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology


  • Iodine Compounds
  • Root Canal Irrigants
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • iodine potassium iodide
  • Povidone-Iodine
  • Calcium Hydroxide