This study aimed to evaluate the effect of final irrigation protocols on microhardness reduction and erosion of root canal dentin. Sixty root canals from mandibular incisors were instrumented and randomly divided into six groups (n = 10) according to the irrigant used: QMiX, 17% EDTA, 10% citric acid (CA), 1% peracetic acid (PA), 2.5% NaOCl (solution control), and distilled water (negative control). The chelating solutions were used to irrigate the canal followed by 2.5% NaOCl as a final flush. After the irrigation protocols, all specimens were rinsed with 10 mL of distilled water to remove any residue of the chemical solutions. Before and after the final irrigation protocols, dentin microhardness was measured with a Knoop indenter. Three indentations were made at 100 µm and 500 µm from the root canal lumen. Afterwards, the specimens were prepared for scanning electron microscopic analysis and the amount of dentin erosion was examined. Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyze the results with a significance level set at 5%. At 100 µm, all protocols significantly reduced dentin microhardness (p < .05), while at 500 µm, this effect was detected only in the EDTA and QMiX groups (p < .05). CA was the irrigant that caused more extensive erosion in dentinal tubules, followed by PA and EDTA. QMiX opened dentinal tubules, but did not cause dentin erosion. Results suggest that QMiX and 17% EDTA reduced dentin microhardness at a greater depth. Additionally, QMiX did not cause dentin erosion.
Endodontics; Root Canal Irrigants; Hardness; Erosion