Objective: This study aimed to determine the correlation between sealer penetration into dentinal tubules and interfacial adaptation to root canal walls using a hydraulic calcium silicate-based sealer, Endosequence Bioceramic Sealer (Brasseler USA, Savannah, GA, USA), and an epoxy resin-based sealer, AH Plus (Dentsply DeTrey, Konstanz, Germany).
Methods: Sixty-four maxillary central incisors were endodontically prepared with nickel-titanium rotary instruments and randomly assigned into two groups (n=32). Roots were filled with gutta-percha using a single-cone technique in conjunction with one of the two sealers, AHP or BCS. Sealers were mixed with Rhodamine B and analysed under a confocal laser scanning microscope. Transverse sections at 5 mm from root apex were obtained. The circumference of the root canal wall was first outlined and measured to determine the circumferential percentage of sealer penetration. The regions along the canal walls where the sealer had penetrated the dentinal tubules were delineated and measured. Then, the outlined distances were divided by the canal circumference. The width of each gap was measured and pooled for each specimen for comparison to determine the interfacial adaptation. The measurements were repeated twice to ensure reproducibility. Mann-Whitney tests were performed to compare continuous variables between AHP and BCS groups. The correlation between gap width and percentage of sealer penetration was investigated using the Spearman correlation coefficient.
Results: No significant difference was observed between groups regarding the percentage of sealer penetration (P>0.05) and the gap width (P>0.05). Also, there was no significant correlation between the two variables analysed for AHP (r=0.165; P>0.05) and BCS (r=-0.147; P>0.05) and in the overall sample (r=0.061; P>0.05).
Conclusion: The present results show no correlation between interfacial adaptation and sealer penetration in dentinal tubules in the total sample and among sealer subgroups. The ability of root canal sealers to penetrate dentinal tubules cannot be considered a sign of better interfacial adaptation.