Assessment of root surfaces of apicected teeth: A scanning electron microscopy evaluation
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the apical surface characteristics and presence of dental cracks in single‑rooted premolars, resected 3.0 mm from the root apex, using the Er: YAG laser, tungsten carbide bur, and diamond‑coated tip, by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Experimental design: Thirty single‑rooted premolar teeth were collected. The instrumented and obturated teeth were divided into three groups according to the root resection method (2.94 μm, 100 mj, 20‑Hz Er: YAG laser, plain tapered fissure tungsten carbide bur at a low speed of 40,000 rpm, or a diamond‑coated SG6D tip coupled to the handpiece of a conventional ultrasound device). The specimens were prepared for SEM and analyzed by the Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney statistical tests.
Results: The SEM images showed that tungsten carbide burs produced significantly smoother resected root surfaces than the diamond‑coated tip. There was no statistically significant difference between the Er: YAG and tungsten carbide bur groups. The analysis of scores obtained for the cut quality by the Kruskal–Wallis test revealed no significant differences among the groups. In our study, five teeth had no cracks after the apical resection. The mean number of cracks per tooth was 3.5 ± 1.780 (Er: YAG laser group), 2.5 ± 1.716 (tungsten carbide bur group), and 4.5 ± 2.593 (diamond‑coated tip group).
Conclusions: Under the tested conditions smoother surfaces were observed in the groups treated with the tungsten carbide bur and Er: YAG laser when compared with the diamond‑coated tips.
Key words: Apicoectomy, dental cracks, Er: YAG Laser, surface roughness