The Self-adjusting File (SAF). Part 1: Respecting the Root Canal Anatomy-A New Concept of Endodontic Files and Its Implementation

Zvi Metzger*, Ehud Teperovich, Raviv Zary, Raphaela Cohen, Rafael Hof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To introduce a new concept, the self-adjusting file (SAF), and discuss its unique features compared with current rotary nickel-titanium file systems. The New Concept: The SAF file is hollow and designed as a thin cylindrical nickel-titanium lattice that adapts to the cross-section of the root canal. A single file is used throughout the procedure. It is inserted into a path initially prepared by a # 20 K-file and operated with a transline- (in-and-out) vibration. The resulting circumferential pressure allows the file's abrasive surface to gradually remove a thin uniform hard-tissue layer from the entire root canal surface, resulting in a canal with a similar cross-section but of larger dimensions. This holds also for canals with an oval or flat cross-section, which will be enlarged to a flat or oval cross-section of larger dimensions. The straightening of curved canals is also reduced because of the high pliability of the file and the absence of a rigid metal core. Thus, the original shape of the root canal is respected both longitudinally and in cross-section. The hollow SAF file is operated with a constant flow of irrigant that enters the full length of the canal and that is activated by the vibration and is replaced continuously throughout the procedure. This results in effective cleaning even at the cul de sac apical part of the canal. The SAF has high mechanical endurance; file separation does not occur; and mechanical failure, if it occurs, is limited to small tears in the latticework. Conclusion: The SAF represents a new step forward in endodontic file development that may overcome many of the shortcomings of current rotary nickel-titanium file systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-690
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Canal preparation
  • SAF
  • curved root canals
  • endodontic files
  • flat root canals
  • micro-computed tomography scan
  • nickel-titanium
  • scanning electron microscopy
  • self-adjusting file


Dive into the research topics of 'The Self-adjusting File (SAF). Part 1: Respecting the Root Canal Anatomy-A New Concept of Endodontic Files and Its Implementation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this