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J Endod. 1995 Jul;21(7):349-53.

Physical and chemical properties of a new root-end filling material.

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Department of Endodontics, School of Dentistry, Loma Linda University, California, USA.


This study determined the chemical composition, pH, and radiopacity of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), and also compared the setting time, compressive strength, and solubility of this material with those of amalgam, Super-EBA, and Intermediate Restorative Material (IRM). X-ray energy dispersive spectrometer in conjunction with the scanning electron microscope were used to determine the composition of MTA, and the pH value of MTA was assessed with a pH meter using a temperature-compensated electrode. The radiopacity of MTA was determined according to the method described by the International Organization for Standardization. The setting time and compressive strength of these materials were determined according to methods recommended by the British Standards Institution. The degree of solubility of the materials was assessed according to modified American Dental Association specifications. The results showed that the main molecules present in MTA are calcium and phosphorous ions. In addition, MTA has a pH of 10.2 initially, which rises to 12.5 three hours after mixing. MTA is more radiopaque than Super-EBA and IRM. Amalgam had the shortest setting time (4 min) and MTA the longest (2 h 45 min). At 24 h MTA had the lowest compressive strength (40 MPa) among the materials, but it increased after 21 days to 67 MPa. Finally, except for IRM, none of the materials tested showed any solubility under the conditions of this study.

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