PURPOSE: This study compared the antimicrobial efficacy of calcium silicate sealers (BioRoot RCS and Total Fill BC) and conventional sealers (AH Plus and Tubli-seal) against planktonic bacteria and a nutrient-stressed multispecies biofilm.
METHODS: Antimicrobial properties of freshly mixed sealers were investigated using the direct contact test (DCT) and a nutrient-stressed multispecies biofilm comprised of five endodontic strains. Antimicrobial activity was determined using quantitative viable counts and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis with live/dead staining. The pH of the sealers was analysed over a period of 28 days in Hanks Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Tukey tests and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used for data analysis with a significance of 5%.
RESULTS: All endodontic sealers exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against planktonic bacteria (p < 0.05). BioRoot RCS caused a significant reduction in viable counts of the biofilms compared to AH Plus and the control (p < 0.05), while no significant difference could be observed compared to TotalFill BC and Tubli-seal (p > 0.05). CLSM analysis showed that BioRoot RCS and TotalFill BC exhibited significant biofilm inhibition compared to Tubli-seal, AH Plus and the control (p < 0.05). BioRoot RCS presented with the highest microbial killing, followed by TotalFill BC and Tubli-seal. Alkalizing activity was seen from the onset by BioRoot RCS, TotalFill BC and AH Plus. After 28 days, BioRoot RCS demonstrated the highest pH in HBSS (pH > 12).
CONCLUSIONS: Calcium silicate sealers exhibited effective antimicrobial properties. This was demonstrated by superior biofilm inhibition capacity and microbial killing, with strong alkalizing activity compared to epoxy-based and zinc oxide-eugenol-based sealers.