Evaluation of Bacterial Reduction at Various Stages of Endodontic Retreatment After Use of Different Disinfection Regimens: An In Vivo Study

Eur Endod J. 2022 Oct;7(3):210-216. doi: 10.14744/eej.2022.42713.


Objective: The present study was conducted to evaluate the presence of aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, E. faecalis, F. nucleatum, Propionibacteria sp., Actinomyces sp., and their reduction at various stages of endodontic retreatment with the use of conventional protocol (5.25 % Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl) as the irrigant along with Calcium Hydroxide (Ca (OH)2) as intracanal medicament and advocated protocol (SmearOFF as the irrigant along with 2% Chlorhexidine (CHX) gel as intracanal medicament).

Methods: Twenty eight patients fulfilling the eligibility criteria were selected for root canal retreatment and randomly allocated into two groups. Group 1: Final irrigant as SmearOFF+Chlorhexidine 2% gelas intracanal medicament (n=14). Group 2: Final irrigant as 5.25% NaOCl+Ca(OH)2 as intracanal medicament (n=14). With aseptic environment, access opening was performed followed by Gutta Percha (GP) removal and sample S1 was collected for bacterial analysis. The biomechanical preparation was done by using Reciproc system with additional finishing with XP-Endo Finisher R. Sample S2 was then collected for bacterial analysis after the final irrigation protocol in the respective groups. Intracanal medicaments were placed for one week and sample S3 was collected. All the samples were subjected to qualitative analysis using PCR and quantification was done by Colony Forming Unit (CFU) analysis.

Results: Aerobic [28/28], Anaerobic [28/28], Propionibacterium sp. [20/28] and F. nucleatum [24/28] were the most frequently isolated in S1 sample followed by Actinomyces sp. [16/28] and E. faecalis sp. [19/28]. Chemico-mechanical preparation followed by irrigation (S2 sample) resulted in significant reduction of all types of bacteria in both groups. Group-1 (SmearOFF as the final irrigant) had significantly superior efficacy against aerobic bacteria, E. faecalis and F. nucleatum (P<0.05) as compared to Group-2 (NaOCl). After medicament placement, significant differences between the groups were noted only for the E. Faecalis group. For the S3 samples, the mean bacterial reduction was significant in Aerobic and F. nucleatum in S3 samples for Group 1 and Group 2.

Conclusion: Chemico-mechanical preparation followed by irrigation resulted in significant reduction in bacterial load irrespective of the final irrigant. SmearOFF was significantly better than NaOCl in minimizing bacterial load of E. faecalis and F. nucleatum. 2% Chlorhexidine gel has superior antimicrobial efficacy against E. faecalis and may be recommended in secondary endodontic treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces
  • Bacteria
  • Calcium Hydroxide / pharmacology
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Dental Pulp Cavity
  • Disinfection
  • Gutta-Percha
  • Humans
  • Periapical Periodontitis* / therapy
  • Retreatment
  • Root Canal Irrigants* / pharmacology
  • Sodium Hypochlorite / pharmacology


  • Root Canal Irrigants
  • Gutta-Percha
  • Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Calcium Hydroxide
  • Chlorhexidine