A laboratory analysis of gutta-percha-filled area obtained using Thermafil, System B and lateral condensation

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To determine the percentage of gutta-percha-filled area (PGFA) in the apical third of root canals when filled with either Thermafil, System B or lateral condensation.


Sixty extracted human maxillary central incisor teeth were root filled as following: G1: lateral condensation (n = 20), G2: System B (n = 20) and G3: Thermafil system (n = 20). A horizontal section was cut 2 and 4 mm from the apical foramen of each tooth. The samples were prepared for microscopic analysis and photomicrographs of each apical surface were taken at a magnification of 50×. Through digital image analysis, the cross-sectional area of the canal and the gutta-percha was measured. The PGFA was calculated. The PGFA data obtained in the three groups were analysed using a nonparametric Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.


Significant differences in PGFA were found between the Thermafil System (G3) and both System B (G2) and lateral condensation (G1) (P < 0.01). The greatest PGFA occurred in the Thermafil group. No significant statistical difference was found between System B and lateral condensation (P > 0.05).


The coated carrier gutta-percha system Thermafil produced significantly higher PGFAs than lateral condensation and System B techniques.

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