Densitometric measurement of radiopacity of gutta-percha cones and root dentin

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National and international standards require that gutta-percha cones be sufficiently radiopaque to be distinguished from natural structures such as dentin and to permit evaluation of the density of the root canal filling. Discs, 1-mm thick, made from 15 commercial and experimental brands of gutta-percha cones, were tested for their compliance with the requirements. The radiopacity of 1-mm thick root dentin slabs was similarly measured with a photodensitometer. All radiographs were made on D-speed occlusal film and replicated on E-speed film. The mean radiopacity of the gutta-percha discs on D-speed film was 7.26 mm of aluminum equivalent and 7.53 mm on E-speed film, greatly exceeding the minimal requirement of 3 mm. The difference in the values obtained with the two film types was not significant, suggesting that E-speed films may be used for the test. Dentin slabs were uniform in their radiopacity, equivalent to 1 mm of aluminum, confirming previous findings. In view of complaints of insufficient clinical performance, the present minimal requirement for radiopacity of gutta-percha cones seems too low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-213
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990


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