Influence of Taper of Root Canal Shape on the Intracanal Bacterial Reduction

Mary Th. Paraskevopoulou*, Marouan G. Khabbaz
Department of Endodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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© Paraskevopoulou and Khabbaz; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Endodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Thivon Str, 11527 Athens, Greece; Tel: +306978279848; E-mails:,



Taper is a factor that determines final root canal dimensions and consequently, the space available for the cleaning action of irrigants. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of taper on intracanal bacterial reduction.


Sterilized root canals of 25 mandibular incisors were inoculated with E. faecalis and then divided into two experimental groups and one control group (A= saline, B= NaOCl + EDTA and C= control, not prepared). Groups A and B were prepared to an apical size of #30/0.04, a culture was obtained and then prepared to #30/0.08 and cultured again. Final irrigation sequence was 30 ml of saline for group A and 10 ml of 17% EDTA followed by 10 ml of 2.5% NaOCl and 10 ml of saline for group B. The CFU ml-1 of the pre- and two post-operative samplings were recorded. Values were compared by performing ANOVA and FDR for multiple hypothesis testing.


No statistically significant difference between initial CFU ml-1 readings was recorded, whereas significant differences between group A and B at both 4% and 8% tapers were noted. Furthermore, a linear-dependent reduction of CFU ml-1 was recorded in each group from non-instrumented root canals to #30/0.04 and subsequently to #30/0.08. The positive control group shows the expected reduction of bacterial count.


Chemomechanical instrumentation was more efficient at reducing E. faecalis when the taper of root canals increased from 4% to 8% and NaOCl plus EDTA led to a greater intracanal bacterial reduction than saline, regardless of the taper achieved.

Keywords: Disinfection, Irrigation, Intracanal bacterial reduction, Root canal preparation, Taper.