The Antimicrobial Effect of Silver Ion Impregnation into Endodontic Sealer against Streptococcus mutans

J. Kreth1, D. Kim2, §, M. Nguyen2, §, G. Hsiao2, §, R. Mito2, M.K. Kang2, 3, N. Chugal2, W. Shi2, 3, 4, *
1 UMN School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, MN 55455
2 UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA 90095
3 UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095
4 David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

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Creative Commons License
2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Biology and Medicine, UCLA School of Dentistry, P.O. Box 951668, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668, USA; Tel: (310) 825-8356; Fax: (310) 794-7109; E-mail:
§ Contributed equally.


Pulpal and periradicular diseases are primarily caused by bacterial invasion of the root canal system as a result of caries progression. The presence of residual bacteria at the time of root canal completion (obturation) is associated with significantly higher rate of treatment failure. Re-infection of obturated root canals can be potentially prevented by enhancing the antibacterial activities of root canal obturation materials. We evaluated, in an in vitro model, the antimicrobial efficacy of silver ions added to a common endodontic sealer. For that purpose we performed growth inhibition studies and bacterial viability tests. We measured the zone of inhibition, optical density and performed confocal laser scanning microscopy. Our results show that the silver ions enhance the antimicrobial activity of the root canal sealer against Streptococcus mutans. This study approach may hold promise for studying other biologically based therapies and therefore increasing the success rate of routine orthograde root canal treatment.

Key Words: ontic sealer, silver, root canal, Streptococcus mutans.