Thermafil: A New Clinical Approach Due to New Dimensional Evaluations

G. Vittoria1, G. Pantaleo1, A. Blasi1, G. Spagnuolo1, *, A. Iandolo1, M. Amato2
1 Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy
2 Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy

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© 2018 Vittoria et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

The authors contributed equally to the writing of this study.Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive and Odontostomatological Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy; Tel/Fax: +390817462080; E-mail:



There are a lot of techniques to obturate the root canals, but lateral condensation of gutta-percha is the most used one. An important aspect of thermafil is the error margin tolerated by the manufacturer in the production of plastic carriers. In literature, there is no evidence about discrepancy percentage between different carriers. It is demonstrated that the error margin of gutta-percha is 0.5% and is 0.2% for metal files (ISO standards).


The aim of this study was to evaluate the real dimensions of thermafil plastic carriers observed by the stereo microscope measuring the dimensional discrepancy between them.


For this study, 80 new thermafil (Dentsply Maillefer) have been selected. 40 thermafil 0.25 and 40 thermafil 0.30. Through 60X stereo microscope, the dimensions of the plastic carrier tips have been measured. The dimensions of the plastic carrier were also measured after a heating cycle. ZL GAL 11TUSM (Zetaline stereo evolution) microscope was used to observe the samples. Measurements were made through a dedicated software (Image Focus). All samples were analysed at 60X.


A non-parametric paired test (Wilcoxon test) was used to compare baseline and after heating values; p-values ≤ 0.05 were assumed to be statistically significant.


The samples we measured showed a mean value of the diameters in Thermafil 25 that was 0.27 mm, for Thermafil 30 the mean value was 0.33 mm.

We have measured a dimensional variable of 8% in the 25 group while in group 30 the maximum possible variation found was 4%, that’s why we propose a new protocol of obturation with thermafil. We can also conclude that a single heating process does not affect clinically the plastic carrier dimensions.

Keywords: Thermafil, Stereo microscope, Endodontic obturation, Gutta-percha, Zetaline stereo evolution, NiTi rotary system.