An analytical Micro CT methodology for quantifying inorganic dentine debris following internal tooth preparation

Jonathan P Robinson, Philip J Lumley, Elzbieta Claridge, Paul Cooper, Liam M Grover, Richard Williams, Anthony Walmsley, Elzbieta Claridge

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29 Citations (Scopus)
262 Downloads (Pure)


MicroCT allows the complex canal network of teeth to be mapped but does not readily distinguish between structural tissue (dentine) and the debris generated during cleaning. The aim was to introduce a validated approach for identifying debris following routine instrumentation and disinfection.

The mesial canals of 12 mandibular molars were instrumented, and irrigated with EDTA and NaOCl. MicroCT images before and after instrumentation and images were assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.

Debris in the canal space was identified through morphological image analysis and superimposition of the images before and after instrumentation. This revealed that the removal of debris is prohibited by protrusions and micro-canals within the tooth creating areas which are inaccessible to the irrigant. Although the results arising from the analytical methodology did provide measurements of debris produced, biological differences in the canals resulted in variances. Both irrigants reduced debris compared to the control which decreased with EDTA and further with NaOCl. However, anatomical variation did not allow definitive conclusions on which irrigant was best to use although both reduced debris build up.

This work presents a new approach for distinguishing between debris and structural inorganic tissue in root canals of teeth. The application may prove useful in other calcified tissue shape determination.

Clinical significance
Remaining debris may contain bacteria and obstruct the flow of irrigating solutions into lateral canal anatomy. This new approach for detecting the amount of remaining debris in canal systems following instrumentation provides a clearer methodology of the identification of such debris.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • X-ray microtomography
  • Debris
  • Root canal preparation
  • Calibration
  • Dentine algorithms


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