INTRODUCTION: An important consideration in endodontic treatment is the elimination of microorganisms, including fungi, from the complex three- dimensional root canal system. Candida Albicans (CA) has a major role in endodontic treatment failure as the most important fungus isolated from the root canal system. The present study was carried out to evaluate the presence of CA in the teeth requiring endodontic retreatment, with or without periapical lesions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was carried out on 60 root canals from human molars requiring endodontic retreatment. The root canals were randomly divided into two equal groups of 30 canals with versus without periapical lesions. Samples were collected from the root canals and cultured on MacConkey and blood agar culture media. The samples suspected of having CA were streaked on Sabouraud’s Dextrose Agar (SDA) and evaluated under a light microscope. Data was analyzed and compared using Chi- square and Kappa tests.
RESULTS: CA was found in 11 patients (36.7%) with periapical lesions. In the patients without periapical lesions only 4 samples demonstrated CA in the root canal systems (13.3%). The difference between the two groups as to the presence of CA was statistically significant (p<0.037). In addition, evaluation of salivary samples revealed 15 cases (50%) of CA presence in the patients with periapical lesions and 16 cases (53.3%) of CA in the patients without periapical lesions, demonstrating no statistically significant difference between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Considering the fact that the presence of CA in the root canal systems of teeth with periapical lesions was more noticeable and statistically significant compared to the teeth without periapical lesions, the elimination of this microorganism from the root canal system, using appropriate intracanal solutions and medications is of utmost importance.