Aim: To evaluate the effect of irrigant refreshment and exposure time of a 2% sodium hypochlorite solution (NaOCl) on biofilm removal from simulated lateral root canal spaces using two different flow rates. Methodology: A dual-species biofilm was formed by a Constant Depth Film Fermenter (CDFF) for 96 h in plug inserts with anatomical features resembling an isthmus or lateral canal-like structures. The inserts were placed in a root canal model facing the main canal. NaOCl 2% and demineralized water (control group) were used as irrigant solutions. Both substances were applied at a flow rate of 0.05 and 0.1 mL s−1. The samples were divided into three groups with zero, one or two refreshments in a total exposure time of 15 min. A three-way analysis of variance (anova) was performed to investigate the interaction amongst the independent variables and the effect of consecutive irrigant refreshment on percentage of biofilm removal. A Tukey post hoc test was used to evaluate the effect of each independent variable on percentage biofilm removal in the absence of statistically significant interactions. Results: For the lateral canal, NaOCl removed significantly more biofilm irrespective of the number of refreshments and exposure time (P = 0.005). There was no significant effect in biofilm removal between the consecutive irrigant refreshments measured in the same biofilm. For the isthmus, NaOCl removed significantly more biofilm irrespective of the number of refreshments and exposure time; both NaOCl and a high flow rate removed significantly more biofilm when the exposure time was analysed (P = 0.018 and P = 0.029, respectively). Evaluating the effect of consecutive irrigant refreshment on the same biofilm, 2% NaOCl, 0.1 mL s−1 flow rate and one or two refreshments removed significant more biofilm (P = 0.04, 0.034 and 0.003, <0.001, respectively). Conclusions: In this model, refreshment did not improve biofilm removal from simulated lateral root canal spaces. NaOCl removed more biofilm from the lateral canal- and isthmus-like structure. A higher flow rate removed significantly more biofilm from the isthmus-like structure. There was always remaining biofilm left after the irrigation procedures.
- optical coherence tomography
- sodium hypochlorite