Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy combined with conventional endodontic treatment to eliminate root canal biofilm infection

Aguinaldo S. Garcez, Martha S. Ribeiro, George P. Tegos, Silvia C. Núñez, Antonio O.C. Jorge, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: To compare the effectiveness of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (PDT), standard endodontic treatment and the combined treatment to eliminate bacterial biofilms present in infected root canals. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Ten single-rooted freshly extracted human teeth were inoculated with stable bioluminescent Gram-negative bacteria, Proteus mirabilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to form 3-day biofilms in prepared root canals. Bioluminescence imaging was used to serially quantify bacterial burdens. PDT employed a conjugate between polyethylenimine and chlorin(e6) as the photosensitizer (PS) and 660-nm diode laser light delivered into the root canal via a 200-μ fiber, and this was compared and combined with standard endodontic treatment using mechanical debridement and antiseptic irrigation. Results: Endodontic therapy alone reduced bacterial bioluminescence by 90% while PDT alone reduced bioluminescence by 95%. The combination reduced bioluminescence by > 98%, and importantly the bacterial regrowth observed 24 hours after treatment was much less for the combination (P < 0.0005) than for either single treatment. Conclusions: Bioluminescence imaging is an efficient way to monitor endodontic therapy. Antimicrobial PDT may have a role to play in optimized endodontic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Bioluminescence imaging
  • Endodontic therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Polyethyleneimine chlorin(e6) conjugate
  • Root canal infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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