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Materials and methods: Resin blocks with 30 straight and 30 curved were used in this study. Each canal has two parallel lateral canals. The main canal has 0.3 mm apical diameter and 0.04 taper. The canals were divided into six groups according to canal curvature and obturation techniques used (n=10): Groups C1 and C2: straight and curved canals obturated with continuous wave technique using E&Q masterTM system. Groups O1 and O2: straight and curved canals obturated with Obtura II. Groups T1 and T2: straight and curved canals obturated with Thermafil obturators. Soapy water was used to simulate sealer in all obturations performed. The depth of gutta-percha penetration into lateral canals was measured using computerized stereomicroscope.
Results: There were very highly significant differences between the obturation techniques at each lateral canal level in both straight and curved canals. Continuous wave using E&Q masterTM system exhibited the greatest gutta-percha penetration into lateral canals with very highly significant difference from both other techniques at majority of lateral canals. There was non- significant difference between Thermafil and Obtura II except at coronal lateral canal of straight main canals where the difference was very highly significant.
The gutta-percha depth was greater in coronal than apical lateral canals in all groups of both straight and curved canals, and gutta-percha depth was greater in straight than in curved canals within each obturation technique.
Conclusion: This study showed that all the three obturation techniques used were able to obturate simulated lateral canals with the continuous wave technique being the best. Gutta-percha depth was less in the apical than the coronal lateral canals. Canal curvature can influence the gutta-percha depth.
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