Many current concepts about irrigation solutions have evolved over time; a historical perspective of irrigation solutions and the reasons for their introduction to endodontic treatment is required. The authors of this work believe that a large number of unrecognised published works from the 20th century need to be brought to light so that researchers can acquire some important hints and insights into how those solutions were developed and used in the past.

In this paper, we investigate historical attempts to develop the optimal irrigation solution as well as the evolution of the scientific community's views on how to achieve this aim.


A review of the literature related to irrigation solutions in endodontics was conducted using Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science. Historical articles were identified through tracking citations of included articles and were obtained via the library of the University of Dundee.


Without the attempts of the past, we wouldn't be where we are today, including the role that several irrigation solutions played in endodontics before they were phased out. The observation that none of the currently available solutions had all of the properties that would make them ideal when used on their own led to the conception of the notion of mixing multiple types of irrigation systems, an idea that has since become widely popular.


This study suggests pursuing two lines of inquiry: first, finding the best companion to sodium hypochlorite that produces no undesirable reaction precipitates; and second, maintaining the effort toward the development of a single irrigation solution that can effectively disinfect the canal without endangering the vital tissues. In general, and for some different possible combinations, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel, which is something that will hopefully be uncovered in the not-too-distant future.

Keywords: Antimicrobial, Chlorhexidine, Endodontics, Faecalis, Hypochlorite, Irrigation.
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