To evaluate temperature profiles developing in the root during warm compaction of gutta-percha with the heat sources System B and System MB Obtura (Analityc Technology, Redmond, WA, USA). Thirty extracted human incisor teeth were used. Root canals were cleaned and shaped by means of Protaper rotary files (Dentsply-Maillefer, Belgium), and imaging was performed by micro-CT (Skyscan 1072, Aartselaar, Belgium).
Teeth were instrumented with K-type thermocouples, and the roots were filled with thermoplastic gutta-percha. Vertical compaction was achieved through the heat sources System B and System MB, and temperature profiles were detect-ed by means of NI Dac Interface controlled by the LabView System. With both heat sources, higher temperature levels were recorded in the region of the root far from the apex. When the warm plugger tip was positioned at a distance of 3 mm from the root apex, temperature levels of about 180°C were used to soften gutta-percha, and no statistically significant differences were observed between peak temperatures developed by the two heating sources at the root apex. However, a temperature level higher than 40°C was maintained for a longer time with System MB.
Statistically significant differences were observed in peak temperature levels recorded far from the root apex. Thus, with a temperature of about 180°C and the warm plugger positioned at 3 mm from the root apex, both heating sources led to a temperature slightly higher than 40°C at the apex of the root, suggesting that the gutta-percha was properly softened.
Significance: A temperature level higher than 40°C was maintained for a longer time with System MB, thus providing an ad-equate time for warm compaction of the gutta-percha.
Keywords: Gutta-percha, Micro-CT, NiTi, Rotary Files, System B, System MB.
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The authors are grateful to Prof. Sandro Rengo of the University of Naples "Federico II" for useful discussions.
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