Introduction: The major determinant of the success of root canal treatment depends on meticulous disinfection of the root canal using intracanal irrigants. The most commonly used root canal irrigant is sodium hypochlorite which has disadvantages of cytotoxicity and unpleasant taste. So there is a need to identify a more biocompatible root canal irrigant.
Aim: The aim of this ex-vivo study was to evaluate the efficacy of 40% honey, 100% neem leaf extract and 5.25% sodium hypochlorite as an intracanal irrigant against the isolated microorganisms from infected root canal.
Materials and methods: The samples were collected from infected root canals of 60 primary molar teeth indicated for pulpectomy. Alpha hemolytic Streptococci, gram negative bacilli, Candida, Staphylococci, Lactobacilli, Enterococci, Spore bearing gram positive bacilli and Micrococci were the microorganisms isolated from the samples. The zone of inhibition against the microbial growth was measured by agar well diffusion method. Statistical analysis was done by Repeated Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Bonferroni method.
Results: Statistical analysis showed that the means of the zones of inhibition measured in this study were 18.56mm, 2.09mm and 1.62mm for sodium hypochlorite, 100% neem leaf extract and 40% honey respectively. The significance was greater between sodium hypochlorite and the other two agents as p-value was <0.001.
Conclusion: The results indicated that 5.25% sodium hypochlorite is more effective as root canal irrigant when compared with 100% neem leaf extract and 40% honey. It was also observed that 100% neem leaf extract has greater antimicrobial effect than 40% honey.
Keywords: Biocompatible materials; Ethnopharmacology; Root canal irrigant.