Objective: To evaluate the bacterial contamination of different brands of Gutta-Percha (GP) points routinely used in clinical practice and the efficacy of a chairside disinfection protocol with sodium hypochlorite.
Methods: GP points (n=240), in sizes A, B, C, D, K15, K20, K25, K30, K35, K40, F1, F2, F3 (Dentsply®, Proclinic®, ProTaper® and R&S®), were randomly sampled from commercial packages already in use. These were added directly to Fluid Thioglycolate Medium (one GP point per tube) and incubated at 37ºC for 21 days. During this period, the presence/absence of turbidity was evaluated. To evaluate the efficacy of a chairside disinfection protocol, all detected contaminated GP points were immersed for 1 minute in 10 mL of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, followed by 5 minutes in 10 mL of detergent solution (3% Tween 80 and 5% sodium thiosulfate) and a final rinse with 10 mL of sterile distilled water and incubated. The data was analysed using the chi-square test and differences between characteristics of dichotomic variables were performed using the binomial test. The significance level was set at P<0.05.
Results: Bacterial growth was observed in 22.9% of the total study samples. Dentsply® and R&S® showed the highest level of contamination, 47.3% each, although without significant differences to the other commercial brands. The most contaminated GP point size was K30 (16.4%). The chairside disinfection protocol was effective in disinfection of 76.4% of GP points (P<0.001).
Conclusion: A real small number of GP points in clinical use harboured bacteria, including after the Chairside Disinfection Protocol that, anyway, proved to be effective. No significant difference was observed between tested commercial brands. (EEJ-2020-01-06)