Lack of Correlation among Three Methods for Evaluation of Apical Leakage

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The purpose of this study was to compare three methods of evaluation of the apical seal. Thirty-six teeth were prepared with a ProFile device and filled according to three filling methods: Thermafil (n = 12), warm vertical condensation (n = 12), and the single cone technique (n = 2). The apical seal was recorded with three methods, each successively used on the same teeth: a fluid filtration method, an electrochemical method, and a dye penetration study. The three methods of evaluation did not rank the apical leakage of the three filling techniques in the same order. The fluid filtration method showed that the vertical condensation was superior to Thermafil, which was in turn superior to the single cone technique (p = 0.04). The dye penetration study showed that the Thermafil was a better technique than the vertical condensation and the single cone technique (p = 0.005). The electrochemical method showed no statistical difference among the three filling techniques. No correlation was found among the results obtained with the three methods of evaluation. This study shows that several studies are necessary before comparing the apical seal obtained with various filling techniques.

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