Clinical implications of Enterococcus faecalis microbial contamination in root canals of devitalized teeth: Literature review

Cynthia Rodríguez-Niklitschek, Gonzalo H Oporto V


Dental caries is a highly prevalent disease in the world. Endodontic treatment is an option to treat teeth widely destroyed by dentalcaries. Even though this type of therapy offers favorable prognosisin most cases, scientific literature suggests there is a possibilityfor failure. In endodontic treatments, one of the most prevalentcauses for treatment failure is permanence of microorganisms within root canals. Among the numerous existing bacterial species,Enterococcus faecalis is one of the most frequently found inteeth with pulp necrosis (lacking previous history of endodontictreatment). It is equally the most frequently isolated speciesin teeth with infection recurrence (teeth exhibiting evidence ofrecurrent treatment). To achieve successful endodontic treatment indevitalized teeth it is of the utmost importance to study and be aware of endodontic microbiology. This leads then to the need of studying bacterial behavior within the system of root canals as well as the irresistance and defense mechanisms in order to best manage theirinteraction with the tooth and achieve bacterial obliteration. The present article purports to offer a bibliographic review of existingliterature on Enterococus faecalis, its main characteristics as wellas resistance mechanisms. Bibliographic search was conductedthrough electronic data bases (EBSCO, Cochcrane, Medline andLilacs), using search engines (Pubmed and Decs). Includedarticles were written in Spanish and English and published duringthe last 30 years. Out of a total 52 articles, 26 were selected; they corresponded to experimental studies and literature reviews.

Palabras clave

Enterococcus faecalis, endodontics, failed endodontic treatment, endodontic infection

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