The effect of ultrasonic removal of various root-end filling materials

C. Pirani, F. Iacono, S. Chersoni, J. Sword, D. H. Pashley, F. R. Tay, S. Looney, M. G. Gandolfi, C. Prati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aim To compare residual root-end filling material in apical root-end cavities following their removal with ultrasonic retrotips. Methodology Thirty single-rooted teeth were filled with Thermafil and AH Plus sealer. Root-ends were resected at 90°, 3 mm from the apex. Root-end cavities were prepared with diamond burs and ultrasonic retrotips and filled with one of three filling materials: group I: Retro-TC (calcium silicate-based cement), group II: IRM (Dentsply, Germany), group III: Vitrebond (3M ESPE, USA). After 30 days of storage, ultrasonic retrotips were used to remove materials from the root-end cavities. The ultrasonic application time was fixed at 60 s. Polyether impressions and replicas of the root-ends were made. Root apices and replicas were examined by one operator under a scanning electron microscope. Remnants of residual materials were evaluated using a four-level scoring system; fractures, smear layer and exposed dentinal tubules were also examined. Results Forty per cent of the specimens filled with Retro-TC revealed complete removal of the material with exposure of dentinal tubules, whilst 60% contained residual cement. Twenty per cent of specimens filled with IRM were completely devoid of material, whereas 80% had retained material. Ten per cent of specimens filled with Vitrebond retained a moderate amount of material whilst 90% had substantial retention of the material. Statistically significant differences were found (P < 0.05) amongst the three groups of materials. Conclusions Retro-TC was successfully removed in 40% of cases using ultrasonics retrotips for 60 s, whereas IRM and Vitrebond specimens had evidence of retained material in 80% and 90% of all specimens respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1025
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Endodontic retreatment
  • Portland cement
  • Root-end filling material
  • Ultrasound retro-tip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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