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What are the various methods to remove gutta percha from a root canal?

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A. With good case selection, NiTi rotary files are very effective and efficient for removing gutta percha. NiTi instruments are used for shaping canals at a speed of approximately 300 RPM. For rotary removal of gutta percha I recommend approximately 1,000 RPM as greater rotational speed is necessary to create the friction and heat necessary to thermosoften gutta percha. The blades of nickel titanium instruments engage softened gutta percha and effectively auger this material out of a root canal space. Certainly, hand files in the presence of a chemical, such as chloroform, is another important method to remove gutta percha from smaller and more curved canals. Chloroform rapidly softens gutta percha and, in conjunction with files, allows for the removal of gutta percha in a crown-down manner. With the canals filled with chloroform bath then paper points are utilized to wick residual gutta percha and sealers from the more inaccessible regions of the root canal system. In addition, I ... more
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A. With good case selection, NiTi rotary files are very effective and efficient for removing gutta percha. NiTi instruments are used for shaping canals at a speed of approximately 300 RPM. For rotary removal of gutta percha, I recommend the ProTaper Retreatment instruments (D1-D3, Dentsply Tulsa Dental) at approximately 500-750 RPM as greater rotational speed is necessary to create the friction and heat necessary to thermosoften gutta percha. The blades of these nickel titanium instruments engage softened gutta percha and effectively auger this material out of a root canal space. Certainly, hand files in the presence of a chemical, such as chloroform, is another important method to remove gutta percha from smaller and more curved canals. Chloroform rapidly softens gutta percha and, in conjunction with files, allows for the removal of gutta percha in a crown-down manner. With the canals filled with chloroform bath then paper points are utilized to wick residual gutta percha and ... more
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