Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the extraradicular distribution of lead and cadmium from root canal filling materials, namely gutta-percha, and to compare the content of lead and cadmium in periapical biopsies, taken during apicectomy of teeth with and without root canal fillings. Materials and methods: After formal consent, 80 patients were enrolled in the study. These patients were originally referred to an oral surgeon for an apicectomy or extraction of a tooth. In all teeth the presence of a periapical inflammatory lesion preoperatively had been confirmed radiographically. During oral surgery, inflamed periapical tissue was removed from the root tips of 40 root canal filled teeth and 40 teeth without root canal fillings. The collected tissue samples were examined using mass spectrometry. The data were statistically analysed using the t test. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the groups for cadmium and lead content in the periradicular tissue. Age, gender, smoking or nutrition of the patients had no significant influence on the results. There was no correlation between the content of lead or cadmium in the periapical tissue and presence or absence of root canal fillings. Conclusion: In the present study no contamination of periradicular tissue with lead and cadmium from root canal filling materials could be detected.
Keywords: cadmium, lead, periapical biopsy, root canal filling material