Comparison of two techniques for assessing the shaping efficacy of repeatedly used nickel-titanium rotary instruments

Hani F. Ounsi, Giovanni Franciosi, Raffaele Paragliola, Khalid Al Huzaimi, Ziad Salameh, Franklin Chi Meng Tay, Marco Ferrari, Simone Grandini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Introduction: The shaping capacity of nickel-titanium (NiTi) rotary instruments is often assessed by photographic or micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) measurements, and these instruments are often used more than once clinically. This study was conducted to compare photographic and micro-CT measurements and to assess if the repeated use of NiTi instruments affected the shape of canal preparation. Methods: Ten new sets of ProTaper Universal instruments (Dentsply-Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) were used in 60 resin blocks simulating curved root canals. Groups 1 to 6 (n = 10) represented the first to sixth use of the instrument, respectively. Digitized images of the prepared blocks were taken in both mesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) directions and area measurements (mm 2) were calculated using AutoCAD (Autodesk Inc, San Rafael, CA). The volumes of the same prepared canals were measured using micro-CT (mm 3). Statistical analysis was performed to detect differences between photographic and volumetric measurements and differences between uses. Results: Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed significant differences between groups (P < .001). Regarding measurement type, there were no significant differences between BL and MD measurements, but there were significant differences between micro-CT and BL measurements (P < .001) and micro-CT and MD measurements (P = .001). Significant differences were also noted between uses. Conclusions: Within the limitations of the present study, micro-CT scanning is more discriminative of the changes in canal space associated with repeated instrument use than photographic measurements. Canal preparations are significantly smaller after the third use of the same instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-850
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Nickel-titanium
  • repeated use
  • root canal
  • shaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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