Three solutions of EDTA-a 15% concentration of the alkaline salt, a 15% concentration of the acid salt, and a 25% concentration of the alkaline salt - were evaluated for smear layer removal in root canal systems. All solutions were adjusted to pH 7.1 using either NaOH or HCl. When the EDTA solutions were alternately used for root canal irrigation with 5.25% NaOCl, they completely removed the smear layer in the middle and coronal thirds of canal preparations, but were less effective in the apical third. None of the EDTA solutions by themselves were effective at completely removing the smear layer at any level. The alkaline tetrasodium salt, pH adjusted with HCl, is more cost effective and performed equally as well as the more commonly used disodium salt.
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