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Heat Transfer to the Periodontal Ligament During Root Obturation Procedures Using an In Vitro Model

  • Andrew D. Romero
    Affiliations
    Drs. Romero, Green, and Wucherpfennig are affiliated with Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Dr. Wucherpfennig is also affiliated with Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, MA.
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  • Daniel B. Green
    Affiliations
    Drs. Romero, Green, and Wucherpfennig are affiliated with Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Dr. Wucherpfennig is also affiliated with Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, MA.
    Search for articles by this author
  • Anne L. Wucherpfennig
    Correspondence
    Address requests for reprints to Dr. Anne L. Wucherpfennig, Department of Endodontics, Tufts School of Dental Medicine, One Kneeland Street, Boston, MA 02111.
    Affiliations
    Drs. Romero, Green, and Wucherpfennig are affiliated with Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Dr. Wucherpfennig is also affiliated with Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, MA.
    Search for articles by this author
      It appears to be important to avoid thermal injury to the periodontal ligament when using heated gutta-percha techniques such as “System B.” An in vitro model was developed, consisting of an extracted human tooth rooted in an artificial periodontal ligament (PDL) and alveolar socket, which allowed us to measure the temperature transferred to the root surface. The teeth were instrumented and subsequently embedded in alginate to simulate the PDL. Medium gutta-percha points were fit, sealer was applied, and a fine Buchanan plugger was used for condensation. Temperature measurements were taken simultaneously at the apex and 5 mm from the apex during obturation with two fine gauge thermocouples connected to a digital thermometer. The average temperature increase was ∼1°C at the apex and ∼2°C at the 5 mm mark. The resulting temperature increases appear to be lower than previously reported by other investigators (Hardie, 1986, 1987; Barkhordar et al., 1990; Weller et al., 1991; Lee et al., 1998), who did not allow for the heat disseminating effect of the PDL.
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