Journal of dentistry

The effect of benzalkonium chloride additions to AH Plus sealer. Antimicrobial, physical and chemical properties.

PMID 25979825


The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities and physicochemical properties of AH Plus sealer mixed with different concentrations of benzalkonium chloride (BC). AH Plus was tested alone and mixed with 1%, 2% and 3% of BC. The antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of the sealers against Enterococcus faecalis were evaluated by the direct contact test (DCT) and by confocal laser scanning microscopy, respectively. Setting time, flow and solubility were assessed according to ANSI/ADA specifications. Microhardness and contact angle tests were also performed. The chemical changes of the sealers were evaluated by X-ray diffraction analysis, and both Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR FT-IR). AH Plus+3% BC was the only sealer to promote total elimination of E. faecalis and the biovolume in this group was significantly lower than in the rest of the sealers (p>0.05). The physical properties of the sealers were according to the ANSI/ADA specifications. The microhardness decreased significantly when BC was added and a significant reduction in contact angle was obtained when incorporating 2% and 3% BC (p<0.05). No phase changes were observed with the modified sealers. The addition of 2% or higher concentrations BC to AH Plus showed antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities without affecting the properties specified in ANSI/ADA standards. However, additives to the root canal sealer altered other physical and chemical properties that are not commonly found in the literature to evaluate filling materials. The present study highlights that the antimicrobial properties of AH Plus can be significantly improved with the addition of BC. Testing beyond what is specified in standards may be indicated.