Successful root canal treatment is based on diagnosis, treatment planning, knowledge of tooth anatomy, endodontic
access cavity design, controlling the infection by thorough cleaning and shaping, methods and materials used in root
canal obturation. An endodontic obturation must be a complete, three-dimensional filling of the root canal system, as
close as possible to cemento-dentinal junction, without massive overfilling or underfilling.
There are several known methods which are used to assess the quality of the endodontic sealing, but most are invasive.
These lead to the destruction of the samples and often no conclusion could be drawn in respect to the existence of any
microleakage in the investigated areas of interest. Using an time domain en-face OCT system, we have recently
demonstrated real time thorough evaluation of quality of root canal fillings.
The purpose of this in vitro study was to validate the en face OCT imagistic evaluation of endodontically treated human
teeth by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and microcomputer tomography (μCT).
SEM investigations evidenced the nonlinear aspect of the interface between the endodontic filling material and the root
canal walls and materials defects in some samples.
The results obtained by μCT revealed also some defects inside the root-canal filling and at the interfaces between the
material and the root canal walls.
The advantages of the OCT method consist in non-invasiveness and high resolution. In addition, en face OCT
investigations permit visualization of the more complex stratified structure at the interface between the filling material
and the dental hard tissue.