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Use of triple antibiotic paste as a disinfectant for a traumatized

immature tooth with a periapical lesion: A case report

Ozlem Marti Akgun, DDS,a Ceyhan Altun, DDS, PhD,b and Gunseli Guven, DDS, PhD,c
Ankara, Turkey

Elimination of microbial contamination from the root canal system is a precondition for successful root canal
treatment. In this regard, mechanical instrumentation, irrigation, and intracanal medication are all important. This case
report assesses the efficacy of a triple antibiotic paste consisting of metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, and minocycline in
the disinfection of immature teeth with apical periodontitis. An 8-year-old girl presented at the Department of Pediatric
Dentistry for the evaluation of right and left maxillary central incisors with crown fractures and luxation. The right
central incisor had a large periapical lesion, which was treated by filling the canal with a ciprofloxacin/metronidazole/
minocycline paste. After 4 months, the patient had no symptoms, and a radiograph showed the radiolucency had
completely resolved. At the 1-year follow-up, a periapical radiograph showed complete root development and apical
closure. These results indicate that triple antibiotic paste is effective in disinfecting immature teeth with periapical
lesions. (Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2009;108:e62-e65)

Dental trauma may tear the apical neurovascular bundle and found it to be effective in disinfecting immature
and cause pulp necrosis, resulting in arrested root for- dog teeth with apical periodontitis. A wide-spectrum
mation in immature teeth.1 The most important objec- bactericide, metronidazole has also been shown to be
tive of endodontic treatment of teeth with necrotic pulp effective against oral obligate anaerobes, including
and periapical lesions is the elimination of infection those isolated from infected necrotic pulp.8 In selecting
from the root canal system.2,3 Disinfection is achieved appropriate irrigants and medicaments, regenerative ef-
by irrigation followed by the placement of an intracanal fects should be taken into consideration along with
medicament. A mixture of ciprofloxacin, metronida- antimicrobial properties.9 For example, tetracycline is
zole, and minocycline has been shown to be very ef- known to enhance the growth of host cells on dentin,
fective in eliminating endodontic pathogens in vitro and not by antimicrobial action, but via the exposure of
in vivo.4-6 The mixture has also been demonstrated to embedded collagen fibers or growth factors.10 Triple-
be well tolerated by vital pulp tissue.5 antibiotic paste, on the other hand, contains both bac-
The triple-antibiotic regimen was first tested in vitro tericidal (metronidazole, ciprofloxacin) and bacteriosta-
by Sato et al.4,6 and was found to be effective in tic (minocycline) components, allowing for successful
treating dentin infected with Escherichia coli.4 Subse- revascularization and the continued development of the
quent studies by Sato et al.4,6 found various mixtures of root to its normal length.11,12
antibacterial drugs, including a mixture of ciprofloxa- This case report describes the treatment of an imma-
cin/metronidazole/minocycline, to be capable of steril- ture maxillary central incisor with apical periodontitis
izing carious lesions, necrotic pulp, and infected root using a triple-antibiotic (ciprofloxacin/metronidazole/
dentin of deciduous teeth.5,6 In an animal study, Wind- minocycline) paste. At the 1-year follow-up, root de-
velopment was shown to be complete, and conventional
ley et al.7 examined the effects of a triple-antibiotic
root canal treatment was performed.
paste of metronidazole, ciprofloxacin, and minocycline

Research Fellow, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Sci- An 8-year-old girl presented at the Department of Ped-
ences Centre, Gulhane Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey. odontics at the Gulhane Medical Academy with a crown
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Sci- fracture and luxation of the right maxillary central incisor
ences Centre, Gulhane Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.
c resulting from a bicycle accident approximately 1 month
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Sci-
ences Centre, Gulhane Medical Academy, Etlik/Ankara, Turkey.
earlier. The patient was asymptomatic, had no known aller-
Received for publication Mar 17, 2009; accepted for publication Apr
gies or systemic problems, and extraoral examination re-
1, 2009. vealed no significant abnormalities. A periapical radiograph
1079-2104/$ - see front matter showed the right maxillary central incisor had an open apex
© 2009 Published by Mosby, Inc. associated with a large radiolucency. Intraoral examination
doi:10.1016/j.tripleo.2009.04.015 revealed fractures of both maxillary central incisors (Fig. 1)

Volume 108, Number 2 Akgun et al. e63

Fig. 1. A, Preoperative clinical view showing fractures of Fig. 2. A, Clinical view after 4 months showing no signs of
both maxillary central incisors and labial sinus tract that the sinus tract. B, Radiography of right maxillary central
traced to the apex of the right maxillary central incisor. B, incisor taken 4 months after the application of triple antibiotic
Preoperative radiography of maxillary central incisors. In- paste. The radiolucency has completely disappeared, and the
complete apex formation and periapical radiolucency in right first signs of apical closure and continued root development
maxillary central incisor were revealed. can be seen.

and the presence of a labial sinus tract that traced to the apex
of the right maxillary central incisor, which was luxated and
had minor mobility and slight sensitivity to heat. Results of an
electric pulp test (EPT) and vitality test were negative. A
treatment plan was formulated that included endodontic treat-
ment of the right maxillary central incisor. Parents were given
detailed information about the treatment program, and their
informed consent was obtained.
The root canal was irrigated with 2.5% NaOCl and instru-
mented to approximately 1 to 2 mm in apical diameter to
allow for systemic bleeding into the root canal system. The
canal was dried with paper points and filled with a ciprofloxacin/
metronidazole/minocycline paste, as described by Hoshino et
al.5 The access cavity was closed with glass ionomer cement
(Glass Ionomer Luting Cement, S.S. White Manufacturing, Fig. 3. A, Normal clinical appearance at the 2-year follow-
Gloucester, England). The intracanal dressing was changed once up. B, Two-year postoperative radiography of right maxillary
a month for 12 months until a periapical radiograph showed central incisor showing no signs of the periapical radiolu-
complete root development and apical closure. cency and the stage of root development is the same as that of
At the 4-month recall, the patient was asymptomatic, with the contralateral tooth.
no signs of the sinus tract. A radiograph indicated complete
resolution of the radiolucency and continued development of
the tooth apex (Fig. 2). At the 1-year follow-up, the patient
was still asymptomatic, and closure of the apex was observed.
Following treatment, a radiograph was taken to control the
Conventional endodontic treatment was performed using a
periapical area, and the patient was asked to return to the
calcium hydroxide– based sealer (Sealapex, Sybron/Kerr, In-
clinic for follow-up every 3 months. Clinical and radiographic
dústria e Comércia Ltda, Guarulhos, SP, Brazil) and gutta-
follow-up showed no pathological findings. Two years after
percha. The canal was obturated using the vertical condensa-
treatment, the radiographic appearance of the traumatized
tion technique. The coronal fragment was etched with a 37%
right central incisor was similar to that of the left central
phosphoric acid gel for 20 seconds, and the area was rinsed
incisor (Fig. 3), and both clinical and radiographic evidence
for 20 seconds and gently air dried. An adhesive (Excite DSC,
confirmed the efficacy of the triple antibiotic paste.
Ivoclar Vivadent AG, Schaan, Liechtenstein) was applied
according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, to meet
esthetic requirements for anterior teeth, the dental restoration DISCUSSION
(Tetric Ceram, Ivoclar Vivadent AG) was completed with Since its introduction as an intracanal medicament,
composite using the incremental technique, and occlusal ad- the bactericidal effect of calcium hydroxide has made it
justment was performed. the most popular endodontic medicament for use in
e64 Akgun et al. August 2009

apexification.13 Although endodontic microorganisms limited efficacy as intracanal medicaments.2 A study by

are unable to survive in the highly alkaline environment Molander et al.17 found another antibiotic, clindamycin, to
provided by Ca(OH)2,2 the compound may also have a have no advantage over Ca(OH)2 or other conventional
detrimental effect on vital tissue. Direct contact be- root canal dressings.
tween the Ca(OH)2 paste and any vital pulp tissue Topical corticosteroids have been used as anti-in-
remaining in the canal can induce the formation of a flammatory agents in endodontics for many years, and
layer of calcified tissue that will prevent the regenera- studies have shown that although effective in reducing
tion of pulp tissue into the occupied space within the pain in teeth with vital pulp, they are ineffective when
canal.12 In contrast, studies have shown that when an the pulp is necrotic.2 The most common corticosteroid
antibiotic paste is used instead of Ca(OH)2, regenerated preparations currently available are Ledermix paste
pulp tissue is able to occupy the remaining canal (Lederle Pharmaceuticals, Wolfsratshausen, Germany)
space.11,14 and Septomixine Forte paste (Septodont, Saint-Maur,
In apexification, the canal is temporarily filled until a France).18 However, in vitro studies have found more
hard-tissue barrier forms at the apex. Because the canal favorable results when antibiotic mixtures such as cip-
space is filled, there is no space available for vital tissue rofloxacin/metronidazole/minocycline are used instead
to proliferate into the root canal, and the possibility of of corticosteroids as topical root canal medicaments.4,5
revascularization is eliminated.11 Not only does the use
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