The aim of this review was to identify and analyse all studies related to the effects of alkaline materials used in dentistry on roots of teeth. The first part of the review focused on mechanical property alterations of root dentine due to sodium hypochlorite (SH) used as an irrigant solution based on MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) terms from a previous study by Pascon et al in 2009. The second part reviewed literature on calcium hydroxide (CH), mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and other alkaline materials used as root canal dressings or filling materials. Additional MeSH terms used included “compressive strength”, “elastic modulus” “flexural strength”, “fracture strength” and “fracture resistance”. The language filter was English. Of the initial 205 articles identified, 49 were included in this review, of which 29 were on SH, 21 on CH/MTA, and 1 relating to both. Many in vitro studies indicated a strong link between reduced mechanical properties of roots of teeth or radicular dentine treated with SH, and when sealers or root fillings with CH- or MTA-based materials were placed in contact with roots or radicular dentine. Recent literature indicates that the association between reduced mechanical properties and alkaline sealers and/or root-filling materials is not as straightforward as previously assumed, and requires further investigation using more valid experimental models.
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