Objectives: To investigate the effect of inclusion of silver nano-particles (SNP) or bioactive glass (BG) on the surface characteristics and bacterial adhesion of prototype tricalcium silicate (TCS)-based cements alongside two commercial cements, under different aging periods and exposure conditions.

Materials and methods: A basic formulation of radio-opacified TCS without (TZ-base) and with additions of SNP (0.5, 1, or 2 mg/ml) or BG (10 or 20%) was used. Biodentine and intermediate restorative material (IRM) served as reference materials. Material disks were immersed in ultrapure water or fetal bovine serum (FBS) for 1, 7, or 28 days. Surface roughness (n = 3), microhardness (n = 9), and wettability (n = 6) were analyzed by standard procedures. Adhesion of Enterococcus faecalis was assessed by fluorescence microscopy (n = 5). Data from these assays were evaluated for normality and comparisons among groups were conducted with statistical procedures (p < 0.05 for significance).

Results: The surface morphology of SNP- and BG-containing cements had higher roughness values than TZ-base after 28 days (p < 0.05). No differences in microhardness were observed among prototype cements (p > 0.05). Biodentine presented smooth surface characteristics and the highest hardness values (p < 0.05). The FBS-immersion resulted in surface reactions in prototype materials and Biodentine, depicted with scanning electron microscopy. All 1- and 7-day prototype cements showed negligible bacterial adhesion, while in Biodentine and IRM, noticeable E. faecalis adherence was observed from day 1 (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Incorporation of SNP or BG did not improve the antibacterial effect of the experimental cement; all 28-day aged materials failed to inhibit bacterial adherence. The measured physical parameters did not appear to be related to the degree of bacterial adhesion. Exposure of TCS-based cements in FBS resulted in surface reactions, which did not affect bacterial adhesion.

Clinical relevance: Changes in the surface characteristics of prototype TCS-based cements by inclusion of SNP and BG or exposure to different environments did not affect bacterial adhesion. All experimental materials showed inferior physical properties and higher antibacterial effect than Biodentine.

Surface characteristics and bacterial adhesion of endodontic cements
Koutroulis A, Valen H, Ørstavik D, Kapralos V, Camilleri J, Sunde PT
Clin Oral Investig. 2022 Dec;26(12):6995-7009. doi: 10.1007/s00784-022-04655-y. E