Dental materials used in root canal treatment have undergone substantial improvements over the past decade. However, one area that still remains to be addressed is the ability of root canal fillings to effectively entomb, kill bacteria, and prevent the formation of a biofilm, all of which will prevent reinfection of the root canal system. Thus far, no published review has analysed the literature on antimicrobial additives to root canal sealers and their influence on physicochemical properties. The aim of this paper was to systematically review the current literature on antimicrobial additives in root canal sealers, their anti-fouling effects, and influence on physicochemical properties. A systematic search was performed in two databases (PubMed and Scopus) to identify studies that investigated the effect of antimicrobial additives in epoxy resin-based root canal sealers. The nature of additives, their antimicrobial effects, methods of antimicrobial testing are critically discussed. The effects on sealer properties have also been reviewed. A total of 31 research papers were reviewed in this work. A variety of antimicrobial agents have been evaluated as additives to epoxy resin-based sealers, including quaternary ammonium compounds, chlorhexidine, calcium hydroxide, iodoform, natural extracts, antibiotics, antifungal drugs, and antimicrobial agent-functionalised nanoparticles. Antimicrobial additives generally improved the antimicrobial effect of epoxy resin-based sealers mainly without deteriorating the physicochemical properties, which mostly remained in accordance with ISO and ANSI/ADA specifications.
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