Introduction: Root biomodifying agents are adjuncts to periodontal regeneration. Aim: This study evaluates the demineralization effect of a chelating agent, maleic acid (MA) when used as a root biomodifier on the cemental surface. Materials and Methods: Thirty single-rooted anterior teeth were selected for this study. The teeth were decoronated and split longitudinally to form sixty radicular halves. They were randomly assigned to four groups of 15 fragments each according to the demineralizing agents used and treatment time of 1 and 3 min. Group 1 treated with 50% citric acid (CA) solution at pH 1, Group 2 treated with 17% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) solution at pH 7. Group 3 treated with 7% MA at pH 1.3 and Group 4 treated with saline. The specimens were then prepared to view under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To study the adherence of cells on the root surface, human periodontal ligament cells were cultured and were placed in plates containing root halves, and cell adherence was viewed using SEM. The data were statistically analyzed by Pearson's Chi-square test (χ2) to evaluate the effect of the each test agent. A significance level was set at P< 0.05. Results: All the three test agents were successful in eliminating smear layer at both time intervals. Intergroup comparison at both time intervals demonstrated, MA to have a better smear layer removal ability than CA and EDTA. Conclusion: This particular study provided preliminary evidence on the demineralizing effect of 7% MA when used as a root conditioning agent.
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