Copper Ion as a New Leakage Tracer
SAGE Publications -- Journal of Housing For the Elderly
  1. Apical Leakage
  2. Copper Diffusion
  3. Dye Penetration
  4. Methylene Blue

Statement of Problem: Most failures of root canal treatments are caused by bacteria. Studies showed that the most common cause of endodontic failures were the incomplete obturation of the root canal and the lack of adequate apical seal. Some in-vitro methods are used to estimate sealing quality, generally by measuring microleakage that allows the tracer agent to penetrate the filled canal.

Purpose: Conventional methods of evaluating the seal of endodontically treated teeth are complicated and have some drawbacks. We used copper ion diffusion method to assess the leakage and the results were compared to dye penetration method.

Materials and Method: The crowns of 21 extracted teeth were cut off at the CEJ level. After preparing the canals, the teeth were placed in tubes containing saline. They were divided randomly into 15 experimental cases; 3 positive and 3 negative controls. Positive controls were filled by single cone without sealer while the experimental and the negative control groups were filled by lateral technique. The coronal portion of gutta was removed and 9mm was left. The external surface of each tooth was coated with nail polish. Two millimeters of apical portion was immersed into 9ml of distilled water and 0.3ml of CuSO4 solution was injected into the coronal portion. After 2 days, copper sulfate was measured by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The teeth were then immersed in 2% methylene blue for 24 hours, sectioned and the extent of dye penetration was measured by a stereomicroscope.

Results: The maximum and minimum recorded copper ion concentrations for the experimental group were 18.37 and 2.87ppm respectively. The maximum and minimum recorded dye penetrations for the experimental group were 8.5 and 3.5mm respectively. The statistical analysis, adopting paired samples test, showed poor correlation between average recorded results of two methods.

Conclusion: Based on our results, there was no significant correlation between the dye penetration and the copper ion diffusion methods.