A study by Peters showed that most root canal walls remain uncleansed following mechanical preparation. Properly performed chemical decontamination ensures a considerable reduction in microbial count. Chow demonstrated that NaOCl irrigation with the needle introduced 1 mm short of the determined working length eliminates 94% of microbes. With reduced depth of endodontic needle penetration (5 mm from the apex), this percentage falls to 74%. In the light of the above studies, the question must be asked whether, in the clinical setting, when the root canal is being broadened to size ISO 25 at the apex, it is possible to introduce an endodontic needle to a depth permitting effective chemical decontamination.
Keywords: endodontics, root canal preparation, irrigation of root canals.
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