What is Gutta percha ?

If you have ever surveyed among companions to name the dental procedures that first come to their mind, they may say braces, fillings, capping and root canals.

Of those, a root canal is the dental treatment many people might know the least about until they have been unfortunate enough to get one.

Even people who are sparingly lucky to have had a successful root canal treatment done might not have heard of gutta percha: a material used during the root canal procedure.

Gutta percha is an extensively used dental substance for root canal fillings. It has been in existence for over 100 years and is derived from some tree species in the Malaio archipelago.

It is a natural rubber material and it is used in a range of dental applications and surgical instruments during root canal therapy.

The main function of Gutta percha is to fill the vacant space in the root of the tooth. Now the rubber allergy is quite difficult things where you have to be really cautious with many products. They can cause skin allergies and respiratory reactions.

How is Gutta percha used?

When a tooth becomes infected or badly diseased, there are only two options: repair and rescue it or remove it. A root canal treatment is performed to fulfill the former.

The degraded part of the tooth, called as the pulp, which is infected is then removed. The tooth root canals are thoroughly cleaned out, disinfected and sterilized before being filled and sealed. Gutta percha is the substance used during a root canal therapy to fill the tooth.

Gutta percha is a thermoplastic filling substance used as a permanent filling in root canals that is heated and contracted into the canal of the tooth which is afterwards sealed using adhesive cement.

Pros and Cons of Gutta percha

One of the disadvantages linked with gutta percha is its deterioration upon maturing which can be further promoted when heat is used during obturation.

It was also once thought that gutta percha tends to cause allergic reactions as same to natural rubber latex provided the close chemical compatibility between the two materials. However, based on derivation from various studies and in absence of any reported cases, American association of Endodontists stated that no cross-reactivity exist between them.

In a clinical investigation, Obturation technique for root canals was linked to an extreme curve. 4 different techniques were implemented on 48 extracted human teeth. The results demonstrated that the cold lateral condensation method is quick and optimal for curved canals.

Unfortunately, gutta percha by some clinicians is believed to be incapable to bind with canal walls at the time of restoration with a quartz fiber post. Root canals filled with a different material evinced to be more resistant to bacterial seepage and root fractures.

Identifying a vertical root fracture is more complicated when the root has earlier being filled with gutta percha than in roots not filled with it.

A research demonstrated that use of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), digital radiography (DR), and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has a similar success rate for all these 3 screening methods in roots without it while results differs in roots with it.

Better Alternative for Gutta Percha

An Alternative Filling substance that can be used as a Replacement for Gutta Percha in Endodontic Treatment:-

  • Urethane-based resin- A new polycaprolactone resin-based thermoplastic filling substance can be used as an alternative to gutta percha. It differs from gutta-percha not only in type of material used in their composition but also the urethane-based resin is used with a self-etching primer in combination with Resilon in an effort to form a root filling that is of a solid, single, bonded material. This resin-based obturation material has the potential, to bond and strengthen the root canal walls to the sealer cement, through dentin adhesive resin-bonding method.

    It also as the ability to make better the leakage resistance of the obturated root, expectantly enhancing nonsurgical endodontic result rate success in a long run.

  • Cold lateral condensation- Conducting a core of gutta-percha rubber cones in amalgamation with different formulations of sealer cements, Obturation of the cleaned and aligned root canal space has been performed in root canal treatment in an attempt to make a root canal system that is sealed from further infection as a consequence from coronal leakage, and to bury remaining bacteria in the roots. The gutta-percha cones can be maneuvered into the root canal either through cold lateral condensation, or by a technique that includes moderating the core filling substance with the application of heat.

    In this dental procedure, dental cones based on SBS were created. Clinical results have stated that the new substance can be used in hot or warm as well as in cold obturation practices. In the matter of retreatment, a new substance was determined to be simpler and quicker to be eliminated from the canal, as a result, conserving the teeth walls. A similar response was noticed when a solvent was used. In addition, the new material had shown a higher degradation temperature which is a signal of its higher temperature firmness, a crucial aspect during the obturation process.