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Root canal therapy requires patients be treated over several visits to clean and shape the pulp chamber. In endodontic treatments, cotton wool is placed beneath the temporary filling to preserve the space of the pulp chamber and to prevent any blockage of the root canals with temporary filling between clinic visits. Despite its simple application and affordability, cotton wool can lead to fibrous remnants in the pulp chamber or become incorporated into the temporary filling, which can lead to micro-leakage or bacterial colonization on the cotton fibers and subsequent infection.

Gelatin capsules or silica gels are proposed endodontic materials which can replace cotton wool in root canal therapy by creating a barrier for entry into the root canals and conferring mechanical stability to the temporary filling above. An innovative and clinically suitable delivery device is required to catalyze the use of novel endodontic materials in place of cotton wool during root canal therapy.

The proposed solution is a device that will deliver a variety of endodontic material into the pulp cavity. The device will be comprised of customizable, disposable attachments that will contain sufficient endodontic material to fill the tooth and a permanent base that will house a mechanically operated delivery system.

The design team has created several concept designs for the dental device and narrowed them down as a group using evaluation criteria such as potential clinical feasibility, functionality, and utility. After overcoming initial difficulty with 3D drafting, 3D designs of the selected concept device have been developed and preliminary 3D model has been printed using ABS polymer. These preliminary models allow for analysis of size, weight, and handling and will allow for the further development and refinement of our design. Upon recognizing the need for further exploration of the potential user market, an online survey was created and distributed to better understand the preferences of clinicians with regards to dental devices. Responses from the School of Dentistry faculty are currently being collected and analyzed. In addition, an initial estimation of the project budget, including 3D printing and proposed materials for prototyping, was made. The focus of the team is currently centered on the ideation of the delivery mechanism, creation of customizable accessory attachments, and determination of prototyping strategy.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, dental fillings


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Rene Olivares-Navarrete

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Virginia East

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

July 2015

Device to Deliver Endodontic Material for Temporary Dental Fillings