by Dr Amir Samad, Cairns Family & Cosmetic Dental Group, QLD
GuttaCore is basically gutta-percha, the traditional material that is used to fill the root canal system. The difference is that it comes in various diameters and in specific shapes. GuttaCore allows you to complete a root canal quickly compared to some of the other systems.
What’s good about it
GuttaCore is fast because it’s just one piece. It’s heated in an oven and then placed in the canal. Heating the GuttaCore makes the material slightly flowable so it exactly fills the root canal system. Once in position, it is left for 10 seconds to cool and the part above the canal is broken off. This way, with just one stroke, the entire canal is filled with the material.
In a situation where you need to place a post in the root canal, GuttaCore is very easy to remove with a drill. Depending on the tooth structure and the length of the canal, five or six millimetres of Guttacore will need to be removed. In the past, I have used other plastic-based filling materials that were almost impossible to remove in this situation.
Guttacore is shaped to match most of the files on the market today. It is also very bio-compatible and predictable to use.
What’s not so good
You have to ensure that it is heated to the correct temperature. If it is heated too much or too little, it will not flow properly. As GuttaCore is flowable, there is a small amount of hydraulic pressure in the canal. If care is not taken, sealer can be forced out through tissue or the tip of the root.
While GuttaCore is a great product, you need to be trained in its use. Any dentist who wants to use this system should first practise on extracted teeth.