Total bacterial disinfection and elimination from the human root canal system are crucial in clinical endodontic procedures [Card et al., 2002; Kakoli et al., 2009]. The current approaches relying on mechanical instrumentation and root canal irrigation and medicaments have demonstrated that eradication of bacteria occurs when the bacteria are in direct contact with the medicaments. However, persistent infection following routine treatments has suggested that bacteria may harbor in the root canal anatomical irregularities and/or deep dentinal tubules, therefore, surface irrigation of medicaments may not be able to reach those regions. Heat treatment has been used for obturation of the root canal in endodontic practice. In this study we hypothesize that as an alternative, surface heating using a System B heating catheter through the root canal surface would be effective for bacterial elimination in the deep dentin. The heat-induced cytotoxic response kills bacteria in the root dentin via heat conduction from the thermal energy incident on the root canal wall. In principle, a high power setting and/or a long heating duration can always achieve sufficient temperature elevations in deep dentin. Yet, the detailed temperature distribution inside the dentin and possible thermal damage to the supporting periodontium are unknown. Therefore, it is of clinical importance to perform and investigate temperature elevations in dentin to provide clinicians with an optimized and effective treatment protocol to minimize unnecessary thermal damage to the surrounding structure.

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