OBJECTIVE: Warm vertical compaction of gutta-percha is a technique that is used by most specialists for root canal obturation. The sealers currently available exhibit irriversible chemical changes when heated. New biologically active sealers that do not sustain irreversible changes when heated are an attractive alternative to be used with warm vertical compaction obturation technique. The aim of this study was to measure the heat generated by warm vertical compactors inside the root canal, characterize a newly developed root canal sealer at different temperatures and verify its suitability at the actual temperature window used clinically.
METHODS: The typical temperatures generated by two heat carriers in a root canal were assessed by thermocouples. Two premixed root canal sealers TotalFill BC and HiFlow BC (FKG, Switzerland) were allowed to set and they were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) immediately after setting and by XRD after 28 days in physiological solution. The ion leaching in solution was assessed by inductively coupled plasma (ICP). The organic component was extracted in acetone and assessed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) for both the unset sealer and sealer subjected to different temperatures. The heat profiles of both sealers were investigated by FT-IR and thermographic analysis.
RESULTS: None of the devices tested achieved the temperatures set on the dial. The highest temperatures were coronal followed by apical for both devices. The sealers were identical except for the vehicle. The inorganic components included tricalcium silicate, dicalcium silicate and zirconium oxide. No calcium hydroxide was produced by any of the sealers after immersion in physiological solution but calcium was released in solution. The chemistry of both sealers was modified when heated but both recovered when cooled.
SIGNIFICANCE: The heat carriers were unreliable and the heat generated inside the canal was not the same as the temperature set on the dial. Since both sealers had identical chemistry save for minimal modifications to the organic component and were both resistant to heat, TotalFill BC sealer is recommended for use with warm vertical compaction technique as it is cheaper and as effective as the HiFlow.
Keywords: Root canal sealers Sealer characterization Warm vertical compaction