Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the antibacterial effects of two gels containing zinc oxide and zinc oxide/silver nanoparticles and a mixture of calcium hydroxide and 0.12% chlorhexidine as intracanal medicaments in root canals contaminated with Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) at different time intervals. Methods and Materials: After preparation and culturing of E. faecalis in 132 single root teeth, the initial count of bacteria was performed. Then, different materials as intracanal medicaments were used in periods of 3, 7 and 14 days (group 1: calcium hydroxide with 0.12% CHX paste; group 2 zinc oxide nanoparticles gel; group 3: zinc oxide/silver nanoparticles gel; group 4: normal saline as the control group). After the specified time, intracanal medicament was removed and the final count of bacteria was performed. Antibacterial effect of materials was counted by measuring the percentage reduction in the colony counts (RCC). Data were analyzed using the descriptive statistics (Mean±SD) and multi-factorial analysis of variance (by taking into account the effect of the time factor on the dependent variable). Results: There were no statistically significant differences among mean RCC of different time intervals in each group (P=0.09). However, the differences in mean RCC of different dressing materials were significant (P<0.001). The effect of interaction between time and materials was significant (P=0.015). Comparison of the antibacterial effects of experimental agents at different time intervals showed that the mean RCC in group 1 was higher than other groups (P<0.001). The difference in antibacterial effect between groups 2 and 3 was not significant (P>0.05). The minimum antibacterial effect was observed in group 4 (P<0.0001). Conclusions: The mixture of calcium hydroxide/chlorhexidine as an intracanal medicament was more effective than zinc oxide and zinc oxide/silver nanoparticles gels.
Keywords: Calcium Hydroxide; Chlorhexidine; E. faecalis; Nanoparticles; Zinc Oxide