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Root canal treatments are fundamental procedures in every dentist's repertory. They are a reliable and predictable way to help preserve teeth with pulp damage or extensive caries. Moreover, they help treat and prevent tooth infections.
Nowadays, endodontic treatments have evolved with the development of new techniques and devices. One of these outstanding techniques is the vertical compaction of the gutta-percha. Through this method, the dentist can fill lateral root canals.
However, this technique requires special tools and materials, being the endo plugger one of the most important. Without it, the dentist would not be able to push the warm gutta-percha into the lateral canals.
An endo plugger is a metallic tool that helps the dentist condensate warmed gutta-percha. This plugger is indispensable when performing the vertical compaction technique.
This endo plugger consists of a pen-like handheld tool. This tool possesses a long, thin tip at both ends. Nonetheless, its point is angled to provide the dentist with comfortable access to the root canal.
The endo plugger handle comes in different shapes depending on the model. However, all of them offer an ergonomic and comfortable grip. The dentist can hold the tool without it sliding from the hand. This helps the practitioner to apply enough pressure while compacting the gutta-percha inside the root canal.
Furthermore, these tools are made of metal. This allows the dentist to use them without breaking or bending. Also, they can be sterilized with a dry heat oven or an autoclave sterilizer.
The endo plugger mechanism is fairly simple. After the root canal has been prepared, the dentist dispenses a small amount of heated gutta-percha at the root's apex.
Afterward, the dentist places the tip of the endo plugger inside the canal. While the gutta percha is still warm, the dentist compacts it by applying controlled pressure over it with the endo plugger.
This process is repeated multiple times until the root canal is completely filled.
However, the dentist must ensure not to apply excessive pressure to prevent tooth and other structures damage.
The root canal system is not as simple as it looks on a regular tooth periapical. It usually possesses numerous tiny lateral and additional canals that are often not observed. Moreover, most times, it is not even possible to reach and shape them with the files.
Additionally, the shape of the main canals is not always entirely rounded but oval.
All these characteristics make the traditional filling technique not efficient enough. However, the vertical compaction technique allows the dentist to push the warmed gutta-percha against every root canal area.
Furthermore, this ensures that the gutta-percha fills the lateral canals. As a result, the canal system is completely filled and sealed.