The use of calcium-depleting solutions in restorative dentistry results in demineralization of intact coronal dentin beneath smear layers. Likewise, application of calcium-depleting irrigants as final rinses might create demineralized collagen matrices in intact radicular dentin after removal of root canal wall smear layers created during canal shaping. These unsupported collagen matrices collapse on desiccation and might be difficult to detect in scanning electron microscopy dehydration techniques traditionally used in endodontic research. Demineralized collagen matrices were identified, by using a hexamethyldisilazane dehydration protocol, on the surface of smear layer-depleted radicular dentin when NaOCl was used as initial rinse, followed by the use of 17% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid or BioPure MTAD as the final rinse. Compaction of conventional root filling materials over a demineralized collagen matrix in instrumented dentin is analogous to performing the same procedure against the predentin collagen network in the uninstrumented parts of root canals. The potential consequences of this process are, however, unknown.
- demineralized dentin matrix
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