Dental emergencies negatively affect troop readiness, especially during combat. Endodontic retreatment, when required, is especially challenging when the removal of endodontic sealer is required. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of synthetic endodontic solvents to remove endodontic sealers. Fifty capillary tubes (2.7 mm ID ×22 mm L), each filled to 15 mm with either Roth 801, AH Plus, MetaSEAL, or gutta-percha, were stored at 75% humidity for 14 days at 37°C. Ten capillary tubes containing each sealer were treated with either chloroform, xylene, EndoSolv R, EndoSolv E, or no solvent, and then penetrated with D3 ProTaper Universal Retreatment file on the same day. The time for the file to penetrate the length of each sealer was recorded, and the data statistically analyzed. Roth 801 failed to set and was not tested. The file took 3.4 ± 0.1, 4.8 ± 0.3, 5.7 ± 0.4, 4.5 ± 0.2, and 10.6 ± 1.0 seconds (mean ± SD) to penetrate gutta-percha using chloroform, xylene, EndoSolv R, EndoSolv E, or no solvent, respectively, and was performed by one endodontic resident at one sitting. The time for penetration of gutta-percha with any solvent was significantly faster (p ≤ 0.05) than for AH Plus or MetaSEAL.The time for AH Plus ranged from 23.1 ± 1.0 to 81.5 ± 4.5 seconds. The time for MetaSEAL ranged from 97.2 ± 6.1 to >180 seconds. EndoSolv E was the most effective solvent for AH Plus. It took significantly more time to remove MetaSEAL than AH Plus, regardless of the solvent used. Our study indicated that the use of the proper endodontic solvent makes complete removal of a sealer much more effective during retreatment.
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