Microbial contamination of retraction cords: an in vitro study

Marina Lucia Cumerlato, Darlene Ribeiro dos Santos Gerzson, Edison Maciel Nunes de Souza Filho, Everton Ribeiro dos Santos, Marina Lucia Cumerlato, Alexandre da Silveira Gerzson


OBJECTIVE: Dental care has been particularly concerned with sterilization of instruments and materials. In this context, the methods used for infection control are essential to ensure patients’ safety. This in vitro study aimed to test gingival retraction cords taken from factory- sealed containers for the presence of contamination. Three commercial brands of retraction cords were analyzed: Retraflex®, Pró-Retract®, and Ultrapack®.
METHODS: The sample consisted of 10 1-cm segments of retraction cords of each commercial brand (n = 30). For bacterial growth analysis, 30 test tubes containing sterile brain heart infusion (BHI) as the culture medium were used. Bacterial growth was considered positive in tubes in which the BHI broth became turbid.
RESULTS: Of 30 test tubes with retraction cords, six showed turbidity  and were considered contaminated: three tubes with Retraflex®, one tube with Pro-Retract®, and two tubes with Ultrapack®, accounting for 20% of the total sample.
CONCLUSIONS: The present findings showed that some retraction cords received from the manufacturers were contaminated with microorganisms. Thus, extra caution should be taken when using these materials, and further studies should be conducted.


Equipment contamination; Microbiological techniques; Gingival retraction techniques; Dental materials; Cross infection

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/1980-6523.2017.1.26482

e-ISSN: 1980-6523

ISSN-L: 0102-9460


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