The aim of this study was to evaluate, by stereomicroscopy and confocal laser microscopy, the influence of different lateral compaction methods for the obturation quality, as well as the time spent for the procedure. Thirty root canals of freshly extracted single-rooted human teeth were prepared with the ProTaper system up to F5 instrument and filled with gutta-percha and AH Plus sealer by the lateral compaction technique. The teeth were divided into 3 groups (n=10) in accordance with the method used for the lateral compaction, as follows: Manual, Mechanical and Ultrasonic. The sealers were stained with rhodamine B dye in a proportion of 0.1% per gram in weight to allow for the analysis under a confocal microscope. During the root filling procedure, the time spent was recorded with a stopwatch. The specimens were stored at 37 °C for 48 h, and then sectioned at 2, 4 and 6 mm from the apex. The percentage of gutta-percha, sealer and void areas were evaluated using a stereomicroscope and sealer penetration perimeter by confocal laser microscope. Statistical analyses were performed using the Kruskall-Wallis and Dunn tests (p<0.05). The mechanical method required a shorter time for the lateral compaction than the manual method (p<0.05). There were no significant differences (p>0.05) for the perimeter of the dentin with sealer penetration among all groups. The mechanical method showed a higher (p<0.05) percentage of gutta-percha and less sealer at the 4 mm section in comparison with the manual method. The ultrasonic group showed intermediate values. The void areas found in the root filling were similar (p>0.05) between the three methods. In conclusion, the fastest lateral compaction was achieved with the mechanical method, and all the methods showed void areas in the root filling.
- Confocal laser scanning microscopy
- Root canal filling