Introduction: The purpose of this study was to analyze the differences between irrigant replacement in the positive and negative pressure irrigation systems regarding root canal cleaning efficacy. Methods and Materials: A total of 27 extracted single-root mandibular premolars with 18-20 mm root canal length were decoronated and equally divided into three groups (n=9) based on the irrigation system used: positive irrigation with side-vented needle as the control group (C), positive irrigation with an open-ended needle as the first group (T1) and negative irrigation as the second group (T2). The root canals were irrigated with 2.5% NaOCl between each instrumentation, followed by a final irrigation with 5 mL of sterile distilled water. The irrigation replacements were monitored by means of computational fluid dynamic (CFD), while a scanning electrone microscope (SEM) was used to observe the smear layers and plug evaluations after the teeth had been sectioned longitudinally and buccolingually halves subsequently cut in apical third area. The result was analyzed using the Kruskal Wallis, Mann Whitney and Spearman correlation tests. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Result: Irrigant replacement in the negative pressure irrigation system tends to produce a greater effect in reaching the apical end compared to in the positive pressure irrigation system. This resulted in significantly superior smear layer removal in the apical third area (P<0.05). Conclusion: The irrigation solution exchange of the negative pressure irrigation system is more capable of reaching the apical end compared to the positive pressure irrigation system, resulting in a higher sanitation level in the apical third of the root canal.
Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics; Negative Pressure Irrigation; Positive Pressure Irrigation; Root Canal Irrigants; Smear Layer