The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of EDTA on smear layer removal and on the structure of dentin, after 1 and 10 min of application. Six extracted single-rooted teeth were instrumented to #60. Apical and coronal thirds of each root were removed, leaving a 5 mm middle third that was then cut longitudinally into two equal segments. Using 10 ml of 17% EDTA solution, halves belonging to the same root were irrigated for 1 and 10 min, respectively. All specimens were subjected to irrigation with 10 ml of 5% NaOCl. Then all the specimens were prepared for SEM evaluation. The results showed that 1 min EDTA irrigation is effective in removing the smear layer. However a 1 0-min application of EDTA caused excessive peritubular and intertubular dentinal erosion. Therefore we suggest that this procedure should not be prolonged >1 min during endodontic treatment.