Antibacterial efficacy of an endodontic sonic-powered irrigation system: An in vitro study

Authors: C. Zeng, J. Willison, M. M. Meghil, B. E. Bergeron, C. W. Cutler, F. R. Tay, L. Niu, J. Ma
Year: 2018
Journal: Journal of Dentistry
Rubrics: Irrigation
Keywords: EDDY, sonic activation, bacterial reduction, dentinal tubuli


To evaluate the efficacy of EDDY, a new sonic-powered irrigation system, in reducing intracanal bacteria load.


Thirty-eight instrumented, autoclaved single-rooted human premolars were inoculated with Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC-29212) for 21 days. Two teeth were used as negative control without bacterial contamination. For the bacteria-inoculated teeth, 6 were used as positive control without irrigation. The remaining 30 teeth were randomly divided into 2 groups (N = 15), using 3% NaOCl as irrigant: (A) 30-gauge syringe needle irrigation (SNI), (B) EDDY (VDW, Munich, Germany). Twelve teeth per group and 4 teeth in the positive control were evaluated for bacterial reduction using MTT assay. The remaining teeth were split for BacLight LIVE/DEAD staining to examine the percentages of live/dead bacteria present in the dentinal tubules from different canal locations (coronal, mid-root and apical portions of the canal space) using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).


MTT assay indicated that both SNI and EDDY significantly reduced overall intracanal bacterial load compared with the positive control, with no significant difference between the two techniques. CLSM indicated that EDDY had better intratubular bacterial killing efficacy than SNI in the coronal and mid-root portions of the canal space only but not in the apical portion. In all canal locations (coronal, mid-root apical), both systems failed to eliminate bacteria that proliferated deep within the dentinal tubules.


With the use of 3% NaOCl, sonic-powered irrigant activation with EDDY tips did not provide additional advantage over SNI in killing Enterococcus faecalis from deep intraradicular dentin.

Clinical Significance

Both the sonic-powered root canal irrigant activation system and syringe needle irrigation can reduce intracanal bacteria load but are incapable of completely killing all bacteria that resided deep within the dentinal tubules of root canals infected with Enterococcus faecalis.