Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ethanol-conditioned dentin on endodontic sealer penetration into dentinal tubules by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Methods: Forty human maxillary anterior teeth were instrumented and divided into four groups (n = 10) according to the drying methods: 1) wet: vacuum only, 2) paper points: vacuum + absorbent paper points, (3) 70% ethanol: 70% ethanol (1 min) + vacuum + absorbent paper points, and (4) 100% ethanol: 100% ethanol (1 min) + vacuum + absorbent paper points. All root canals were filled with resin-based endodontic sealer. Four sections from each third (cervical, middle, and apical) were examined by CLSM. Root canal wall perimeter infiltrated by sealer, maximum depth of sealer penetration, percentage of penetrated area, and fluorescence intensity of rhodamine B were measured. Statistical analysis was performed by analysis of variance and Tukey’s tests (α = 0.05). Results: No statistical difference was found when percentage of root canal wall coverage infiltrated by sealer were compared. The groups in which ethanol solutions were used presented greater depth of sealer penetration, higher percentage of penetrated area, and higher fluorescence intensity of rhodamine B (p< 0.05) when compared with the wet and paper point groups. Overall, 100% ethanol produced better results than 70% ethanol, except for rhodamine B intensity (cervical third). In addition, the absorbent paper points drying method behaved better than did vacuum only group, except for rhodamine B intensity (apical third). Conclusion: Ethanol-conditioned dentin improved the penetration of resin-based sealer into dentinal tubules, especially at the concentration of 100%.
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