Have you ever wondered what material is typically used to fill the canals of your tooth during a root canal treatment? Dr. Scott Norton (practicing Endodontist in Louisville, KY), like most Endodontists, uses a substance called Gutta-Percha. Gutta-percha is used along with a root canal sealing material in order to help keep foreign substances from entering the inside of the tooth.
Gutta-Percha is derived from the Taban tree (Isonandra perchas) which is native of Singapore, Borneo, and other Islands of Malay. Gutta-percha is taken from its original form and undergoes transformation during processing. Its presence in dentistry dates back to the Civil War time, originally used as a temporary material. Modern gutta-percha is combined with resin, wax, zinc oxide and other materials to form the dental material used today in root canals. It is highly biocompatible as well as stable and flexible at room temperature.
Over the years, gutta-percha has been used in other areas besides dentistry, such as the coating for the first trans-Atlantic cable. In addition, it has also been used in jewelry, ornaments and as the core for golf balls. Dr. Scott Norton appreciates modern dentistry and the dental manufacturers that research, develop and continuously bring new and improved products to the market. Like many dental materials, gutta-percha has come along way since its introduction in the 1800s and has proven to be a consistent and dependable dental material for many years.