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Researchers study new material for root canal procedures

A root canal in the not-too-distant future might use a thermoplastic synthetic polymer-based root filling instead of the commonly used material gutta percha, offering a stronger seal between the treated and filled canal and the restoration.

A root canal treatment generally involves the removal and replacement of a tooth's pulp. The pulp can become damaged through injury or disease.

Researchers studied traditional gutta percha and a new material, Resilon, in a laboratory setting. Gutta percha, which has been used in root canal treatment for more than a century, is made from a resin from the Isonandra Gutta tree and has been used for waterproofing applications as well as for endodontic applications.

The researchers found that Resilon-filled canals had a significantly smaller chance of bacteria leaking from the filling seal than gutta percha. Filling the canal protects the site from bacteria that enter the mouth or from bacteria that may grow inside the canal.

Researchers say further study is needed to verify the performance of the new material. For more information about root canal treatment, visit the American Dental Association Web site at "www.ada.org/public/topics/root_canal.asp".

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

02/01/2005

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