Cavitation measurement during sonic and ultrasonic activated irrigation

R. Macedo, B. Verhaagen, D. Fernandez Rivas, M. Versluis, P. Wesselink, L. van der Sluis

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aims of this study were to quantify and to visualize the possible occurrence of transient cavitation (bubble formation and implosion) during sonic and ultrasonic (UAI) activated irrigation.

The amount of cavitation generated around several endodontic instruments was measured by sonochemiluminescence dosimetry inside 4 root canal models of human dimensions and varying complexity. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of the sonochemiluminescence in the root canal was visualized with long-exposure photography.

Instrument oscillation frequency, ultrasonic power, and file taper influenced the occurrence and amount of cavitation. In UAI, cavitation was distributed between the file and the wall extending beyond the file and inside lateral canals/isthmuses. In sonic activated irrigation, no cavitation was detected.

Cavitation was shown to occur in UAI at clinically relevant ultrasonic power settings in both straight and curved canals but not around sonically oscillating instruments, driven at their highest frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-583
JournalThe Journal of Endodontics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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