The purpose of this in vitro study was to compare the apical seals achieved using retrograde amalgam fillings or the Nd:YAG laser. Freshly extracted teeth were randomly separated into groups that would have their apices treated either with a Nd:YAG laser or retrograde amalgam. After instrumentation and obturation, bacterial reservoirs were prepared in the coronal portion of canals. Teeth to receive retrofillings had their apices prepared and amalgams placed. Teeth to be lased had no apical preparations. Teeth and culture media were then sterilized by irradiation. Streptococcus salivarius was deposited in the opened bacterial reservoirs. At intervals, culture media with an indicator in culture chambers was observed for color change. Specimens that demonstrated color change were cultured for S. salivarius. Under the conditions of this in vitro study, no statistically significant difference was found in bacterial leakage between the laser-treated group and the retrograde amalgam group.
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