Q:

What is gutta-percha?

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Quick Answer

Gutta-percha is a tree-based product with various applications, including root canal therapy and electronic communication. People have used the natural latex produced from the sap of these trees since the mid-19th century.

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Full Answer

Dentists use various sizes of gutta-percha cones during root canal procedures to plug gaps. It is biologically inert, so it does not react with the human body. Some patients who suffer from latex allergies, however, may experience a reaction with gutta-percha. Gutta-percha also has a high dielectric strength and is a good insulator. This allows its use as a dielectric for telecommunication cables, although more advanced dielectrics are available.

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