In vitro physicochemical characterization of five root canal sealers and their influence on an ex vivo oral multi-species biofilm community

Flavia M. Saavedra, Lauter E. Pelepenko, William S. Boyle, Anqi Zhang, Christopher Staley, Mark C. Herzberg, Marina A. Marciano, Bruno P. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


AIM: To evaluate the physicochemical properties of five root canal sealers and assess their effect on an ex vivo dental plaque-derived polymicrobial community.

METHODOLOGY: Dental plaque-derived microbial communities were exposed to the sealers (AH Plus [AHP], GuttaFlow Bioseal [GFB], Endoseal MTA [ESM], Bio-C sealer [BCS] and BioRoot RCS [BRR]) for 3, 6 and 18 h. The sealers' effect on the biofilm biomass and metabolic activity was quantified using crystal violet (CV) staining and MTT assay, respectively. Biofilm community composition and morphology were assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), 16S rRNA sequencing and scanning electron microscopy. The ISO6876:2012 specifications were followed to determine the setting time, radiopacity, flowability and solubility. Obturated acrylic teeth were used to assess the sealers' effect on pH. Surface chemical characterization was performed using SEM with coupled energy-dispersive spectroscopy. Data normality was assessed using the Shapiro-Wilk test. One-way anova and Tukey's tests were used to analyze data from setting time, radiopacity, flowability and solubility. Two-way anova and Dunnett's tests were used for the data analysis from CV, MTT and pH. 16S rRNA sequencing data were analyzed for alpha (Shannon index and Chao analysis) and beta diversity (Bray-Curtis dissimilarities). Differences in community composition were evaluated by analysis of similarity (p < .05).

RESULTS: The sealers significantly influenced microbial community composition and morphology. All sealers complied with ISO6876:2012 requirements for setting time, radiopacity and flowability. Although only AHP effectively reduced the biofilm biomass, all sealers, except BRR, reduced biofilm metabolic activity.

CONCLUSION: Despite adequate physical properties, none of the sealers tested prevented biofilm growth. Significant changes in community composition were observed. If observed in vivo, these changes could affect intracanal microbial survival, pathogenicity and treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-783
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. International Endodontic Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Endodontic Society.


  • antimicrobial
  • bacteria
  • biofilm
  • endodontic infection
  • physicochemical properties
  • root canal sealers


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