Using special equipment such as a unique torque-testing machine and micro-computed tomography, we test nickel-titanium rotary instruments, simulating clinical procedures. Usage parameters such as particular hand movements, rotational speed and instrument sequence are of great interest for clinicians and are evaluated with respect to instrument breakage and the quality of the resulting canal preparation. Standard techniques such as bacterial culturing and fluorescent staining allow us to estimate the efficacy of root canal disinfection strategies in vitro, with particular reference to bacterial biofilms.
A recently acquired grant provides funds for further studies using three-dimensional reconstructions of root canal systems.
Our upgraded lab infrastructure allows animal experiments aimed at elucidating interactions between bone and immune cells during healing of periradicular lesions. Apical periodontitis is viewed as a dynamic encounter between bacterial challenge and host response; this interaction takes place against the backdrop of bone, a tissue comprised of a constantly remodeled extracellular matrix and an assortment of interacting cells like osteoclasts, osteoblast and various leukocytes.