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Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author of 18 technology books, including the award-winning Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line. As such, he’s particularly interested in the technological side of dentistry.
Pulpdent President Fred Berk explains the changes that have been made to this calcium hydroxide paste.
In 1947, Pulpdent introduced the first premixed calcium hydroxide paste, indicated for vital pulp therapy and later for root canal therapy. In the years since, Pulpdent’s formulation has continued to evolve. Its latest version is TempCanalTM Enhanced.
Released in 2016, their easiest-to-handle material is used both as an intracanal dressing for routine use between office visits and for complicated cases where extended calcium hydroxide therapy is indicated.
“Researchers have studied and reported on the use of calcium hydroxide for dental applications for 100 years. There is a tremendous amount of published literature, and we know that calcium hydroxide has properties that make it effective for both pulp protection and for treatment of endodontically involved teeth,” says Fred Berk, president of Pulpdent. “Calcium is one of the natural building blocks of teeth. Calcium hydroxide has a high pH, which can elicit a response in vivo, neutralize acidic conditions, discourage problems that can arise after root canal treatment, create an environment that can help stabilize endodontically treated teeth, and promote favorable health and better long-term outcomes.”
The literature discusses the use of calcium hydroxide to treat periapical lesions, abscesses, internal and external root resorption, root fractures and perforations, pus, hemorrhage, exudation, weeping canals, along with the ability to stimulate apexification and other routine uses as an intracanal dressing.
“TempCanal Enhanced is a product that is indicated for use in root canal therapy,” Berk explains. “After removing the pulp, cleansing and shaping the canal, TempCanal Enhanced is placed in the canal as a short-term or intermediate dressing, depending on whether or not the tooth is symptomatic and what the radiographic evidence indicates.”
The latest reformulation of TempCanal Enhanced makes it easier to handle and provides a longer shelf life.
“We have made improvements with the TempCanal Enhanced formulation,” Berk says. “First, the product does not dry out. This extends the shelf life of the material while in the syringe and provides the dentist with more working time. The clinician does not have to worry about the paste crusting over and clogging the dispenser needle during the procedure. It is a non-setting paste easily removed with file and irrigation.”
Ease of placement is another improvement.
“TempCanal Enhanced flows through a 27-gauge by one-inch, side-vented, endodontic irrigation needle,” Berk says. “The needle has a closed end to prevent paste from being placed beyond the apex. That is a tremendous advantage for the dentist because root canals are small, may be tortuous and can be difficult to navigate. Just insert the 27-gauge irrigation needle directly into the canal, and with a standard one-handed operation, dispense the material exactly where you want it. Because it is coming out of the side vent, the dentist can actually see it being placed. It is the most convenient system ever developed.”
Pulpdent has a long history with calcium hydroxide paste, and they used that experience to improve this product.
“We have been making calcium hydroxide paste since 1947,” Berk says. “We had the original patent for the first premixed calcium hydroxide, aqueous methylcellulose paste for root canal therapy and vital pulp therapy. This is the best of all the calcium hydroxide pastes we’ve ever made.”