In vitro comparison of passive and continuous ultrasonic irrigation in curved root canals

Pablo Castelo-Baz, Purificación Varela-Patiño, Giuseppe Cantatore, Ana Domínguez-Perez, Manuel Ruíz-Piñón, Ramón Miguéns-Vila, Benjamín Martín-Biedma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The efficacy of endodontic irrigation procedures can be compromised by the complexity of the root canal system. Delivering irrigants to the apical third of curved canals presents a particular challenge to endodontists. This study compared the effects of two ultrasonic irrigation techniques on the penetration of sodium hypochlorite into the main canal and simulated lateral canals of curved roots in extracted teeth. Material and Methods: Two sets of simulated lateral canals were created at 2, 4, and 6 mm from the working length in 60 single-rooted teeth (6 canals/tooth, n = 360 canals). The teeth were randomly divided into three experimental irrigation groups: group 1 (n = 20), positive pressure irrigation (PPI); group 2 (n = 20), passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI); and group 3 (n = 20), continuous ultrasonic irrigation (CUI). To assess the irrigation solution penetration, 20% Chinese ink (Sanford Rotring GmbH, Hamburg, Germany) was added to a 5% sodium hypochlorite solution and delivered into the curved root canals. The penetration of contrast solution into the simulated lateral canals was scored by counting the number of lateral canals (0-2) penetrated to at least 50% of the total length. Results: The CUI group showed significantly higher (P < 0.05) irrigant penetration into the lateral canals and into the apical third of the main canals. The PPI group showed significantly lower sodium hypochlorite penetration (P < 0.001) into the main and lateral canals compared with that in the CUI and PUI groups. Significantly higher irrigant penetration was observed in the PUI group than the PPI group. Conclusions: Using CUI as the final rinse significantly increased the penetration of irrigant solution into the simulated lateral canals and apical third of curved roots.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53023
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Continuous ultrasonic irrigation
  • Curved root canals
  • Passive ultrasonic irrigation
  • Positive pressure irrigation
  • Root canal irrigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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