Real‐time chemical analysis of root filling materials with heating: guidelines for safe temperature levels

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To investigate the chemical changes affecting different types of gutta‐percha and endodontic sealers during heating, and correlate changes with the heating capacity of different heat carriers.

The heating capacity of three endodontic heat carriers was evaluated using thermocouples to produce heat profiles. The devices were activated at different temperature set‐ups, in continuous or cut‐out modes. Chemical changes of six brands of gutta‐percha and four types of sealers were assessed in real time during heating using micro‐Raman spectroscopy equipped with a heating stage. Raman spectra of each tested material were averaged and compared at different temperature levels. The sealers were further assessed by Fourier transform infrared (FT‐IR) spectroscopy.

None of the tested heat carriers achieved the temperature levels that were set by the devices and recommended by the manufacturer. The use of continuous heating mode resulted in higher rises in temperature than the 4 s cut‐out mode that reached 110 °C. The various brands of gutta‐percha exhibited different chemical changes in response to heat. Some changes even occurred below temperature levels generated by the heating devices. All sealers revealed changes in their chemical composition upon heating. Changes in epoxy resin‐ and zinc oxide–eugenol‐based sealers were detectable at 100 °C, with structural alterations beyond that temperature and irreversible changes after cooling. Water loss was irreversible in BioRoot, but its chemical structure was stable as well as for the TotalFill.

The heating capacity of endodontic heat carriers needs to be standardized, so that the temperatures delivered by the tips are the same as that set on the dial. Practitioners should be aware of the actual temperatures generated by these devices, and the suitability of sealers to be used at the temperature levels achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-708
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • calcium silicate
  • endodontic heat carriers
  • epoxy resin sealer
  • gutta-percha
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • warm obturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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