Comparison of lateral condensation and thermomechanically compacted warm α-phase gutta-percha with a single cone for obturating curved root canals

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Objective.To evaluate and compare the sealability and radiographic quality of root fillings in extracted teeth by using lateral condensation of gutta-percha or α-phase gutta-percha in conjunction with a single gutta-percha cone.Study Design.A total of 108 single-rooted teeth were divided into 2 groups of 54 teeth based on canal shape. Canals were prepared to a minimum 0.055 taper and enlarged to a size 35 at the working distance. Irrigation was done with 17% EDTA and 2.5% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) to remove smear layer. One group was obturated by using cold lateral condensation of gutta-percha; the other group was obturated with thermomechanically compacted α-phase gutta-percha and a single cone of gutta-percha. Apical extrusion of sealer or gutta-percha was recorded. Sealability of each technique was assessed by dye penetration. The radiographic quality of obturation was also determined.Results.Root canals filled with α-phase gutta-percha and a single cone had significantly more extrusion of sealer than canals filled by lateral condensation. Lateral condensation achieved significantly better scores for radiographic quality. There was no significant difference between the 2 filling techniques in terms of apical or coronal leakage.Conclusions.Thermomechanically condensed α-phase gutta-percha used in conjunction with a single gutta-percha cone had poorer radiographic quality than laterally condensed gutta-percha.

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