Endodontic complications of root canal therapy performed by dental students with stainless-steel K-files and nickel-titanium hand files

Mary T. Pettiette, Zvi Metzger, Ceib Phillips, Martin Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Straightening of curved canals is one of the most common procedural errors in endodontic instrumentation. This problem is commonly encountered when dental students perform molar endodontics. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of the type of instrument used by these students on the extent of straightening and on the incidence of other endodontic procedural errors. Nickel-titanium 0.02 taper hand files were compared with traditional stainless-steel 0.02 taper K-files. Sixty molar teeth comprised of maxillary and mandibular first and second molars were treated by senior dental students. Instrumentation was with either nickel-titanium hand files or stainless-steel K-files. Preoperative and postoperative radiographs of each tooth were taken using an XCP precision instrument with a customized bite block to ensure accurate reproduction of radiographic angulation. The radiographs were scanned and the images stored as TIFF files. By superimposing tracings from the preoperative over the postoperative radiographs, the degree of deviation of the apical third of the root canal filling from the original canal was measured. The presence of other errors, such as strip perforation and instrument breakage, was established by examining the radiographs. In curved canals instrumented by stainless-steel K-files, the average deviation of the apical third of the canals was 14.44° (±10.33°). The deviation was significantly reduced when nickel-titanium hand files were used to an average of 4.39° (±4.53°). The incidence of other procedural errors was also significantly reduced by the use of nickel-titanium hand files.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1999

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