What Are Irrigation Techniques in The Dental Field?

For treating root canals, dentists have their own techniques for tackling root canal infections, and one of the biggest ones used is irrigation systems. Simply put, irrigation systems work with various cleaning agents to flush out bacteria within the tooth and clean it out. These systems allow us to accomplish more with complex tooth treatments and make cleaning teeth internally a lot easier. But what makes up irrigation? What kinds of techniques are used to clean out the inner teeth? Below, we’ll be describing some basics on irrigation, how it works, and what common techniques are used to clean your teeth.

Types of Agents and Techniques Used in Irrigation

One of the biggest parts of any irrigation system is the use of chemical agents. Chemical agents are compounds and solutions used to remove bacteria growth in the root canal and prepare the tooth for further treatment. These agents are classified by their traits, and many dentists have their own preferences when it comes to chemical agents. Some of the most popular agents used include: 

  • NaOCL: NaOCL, also called sodium hypochlorite, is the most prevalent chemical agent used. It’s mainly used due to its ability to disrupt the biofilm that develops from bacteria cells and directly kills the bacteria efficiently. 
  • EDTA: EDTA, or Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, acts as a lubricant for the irrigation process. It’s often combined with NaOCL to remove the biofilm protecting the bacteria and can also be used to remove calcium deposits and demineralized dentin. 
  • CHX: CHX, also known as Chlorhexidine gluconate, is primarily used as an antiseptic agent. It ruptures the cellular wall of the bacteria to cause bacteria death and binds with the dentin to create a prolonged release of antimicrobial activity that can also for months. However, dentists are less commonly used due to their inability to destroy the biofilm layer and is often used as a secondary agent. 

The second and final component of irrigation systems is technique. Techniques can vary from dentist to dentist, and techniques for cleaning teeth are often one of the most commonly talked about topics within the dental community. Experimenting with techniques for studies is a vital part of expanding our care because it allows us to learn about the scenarios that certain methods can be applied. Many improvements to the irrigation system revolve around removing traditional methods, such as rotary instruments, around improving the patient’s outlook.  

How To Learn More About Irrigation Techniques

For most dentists, the irrigation technique is all about controlling the tools we use. As newer technologies are being introduced, concepts such as continuous flow versus the intermittent flow of chemical agents, ultrasonic tips vs. syringes and cannulas, and other topics are always being explored, especially by endodontists who work within the field of the inner tooth. These discussions of technique are vitally important because they can improve the patient’s experience with dental treatment and even potentially revolutionize dental care for many in the future. 

If you wish to learn about how irrigation techniques work, one of the best resources you can go to learn more about chemical agents and techniques is to visit your local dentist for information. 

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Dr. Tatiana was born and grew up in former Soviet Republic of Moldavia.
She was educated and trained as a Dentist at Kishinev State Medical University in Kishinev, Moldova. She provided dental care in Kishinev for many years until she met her future husband. She moved to Cheyenne in 1995.

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