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Osmolarity and root canal antiseptics

Authors

  • G. Rossi-Fedele,

    Corresponding author
    1. Warwick Dentistry, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
    2. Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
    • Correspondence: Giampiero Rossi-Fedele, 10 Station Path, Staines, Middlesex TW18 4LW, UK (Tel.: + 44 7841111387; fax: +44 1784 888160; e-mail: grossifede@yahoo.com).

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  • A. R. Guastalli

    1. Chemical Engineering, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, S
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Abstract

Antiseptics used in endodontics for disinfection purposes include root canal dressings and irrigants. Osmotic shock is known to cause the alteration of microbial cell viability and might have a role in the mechanism of action of root canal antiseptics. The aim of this review was to determine the role of osmolarity on the performance of antiseptics in root canal treatment. A literature search using the Medline electronic database was conducted up to 30 May 2013 using the following search terms and combinations: ‘osmolarity AND root canal or endodontic or antiseptic or irrigation or irrigant or medication or dressing or biofilm; osmolality AND root canal or endodontic or antiseptic or irrigation or irrigant or medication or dressing or biofilm; osmotic AND root canal or endodontic or antiseptic or irrigation or irrigant or medication or dressing or biofilm; osmosis AND root canal or endodontic or antiseptic or irrigation or irrigant or medication or dressing or biofilm; sodium chloride AND root canal or endodontic or antiseptic or irrigation or irrigant or medication or dressing or biofilm’. Publications were included if the effects of osmolarity on the clinical performance of antiseptics in root canal treatment were stated, if preparations with different osmolarities values were compared and if they were published in English. A hand search of articles published online, ‘in press’ and ‘early view’, and in the reference list of the included papers was carried out following the same criteria. A total of 3274 publications were identified using the database, and three were included in the review. The evidence available in endodontics suggests a possible role for hyperosmotic root canal medicaments as disinfectants, and that there is no influence of osmolarity on the tissue dissolution capacity of sodium hypochlorite. There are insufficient data to obtain a sound conclusion regarding the role of hypo-osmosis in root canal disinfection, or osmosis in any further desirable ability.

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