Effect of Aging on Dentinal Crack Formation after Treatment and Retreatment Procedures: a Micro-CT Study

Abstract In order to evaluate the volume of dentinal cracks taking into account the age of the dentin and the type of file system used for endodontic procedures, forty freshly extracted single-rooted lower incisive teeth presenting similar root volume, were divided into two groups according to the age of the patient: Group Young (18 - 30 years old) and Group Old (60 years old or more). Each specimen was scanned by microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) in three stages: (i) before any treatment, (ii) after endodontic treatment with Reciproc files (REC), and (iii) after subsequent endodontic retreatment. Each group was subdivided into two subgroups, according to the retreatment technique used: retreatment with REC or with ProTaper Universal Retreatment (PUR) files. For each subgroup, the images were analyzed for differences in the volume of dentinal cracks in the middle and apical thirds of the teeth , according to the dentin age. In both stages (before and after instrumentation), the micro-CT images of the old root dentin presented with higher volume of cracks than those of the young root dentin, statistical significance notwithstanding (p>0.01). The use of REC files appeared to have no statistically significant differences in the generation of cracks in any type of root dentin when compared with PUR files (p>0.01). When retreated with PUR, the old root dentin presented with a significantly higher volume of cracks (p<0.01) when compared with the old root dentin initially.