Lateral condensation is the method most dentists learned in dental school. That is not to say thay most dentists ARE currently being taught this method as most of the schools in the last few years have begun teaching a variation of warm gutta percha.
The basic sequence of steps in lateral condensation are:
- Prepare a canal that is basically tapered. The requirements are not as rigid as those for warm gutta percha. Since the lateral aspect of the condenser is used to apply pressure, there is no need for the canal to be round. In fact when canals are NOT round, this is the indicated method of choice.
- Coat a gp point with cement and insert near the apex.
- Insert condenser and apply pressure apically and laterally swinging the condenser from side to side, creating a cone shaped opening for the next gp point and packing the point against the lateral wall of the prep.
- Insert another point and repeat.
- Each time this is done, the condenser will retreat from the apex.
- When the condenser will only enter the orifice a few millimeters, warm the tip and melt off the excess gp extending into the pulp chamber.
- Warm a large flat tipped condenser and condense the gp into the orifice.