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Endodontic Instruments

Dr Shashit shetty
According to function Grossman
divided endodontic instruments into
1. Exploring instruments assist in locating and
obtaining patency of the root canal. Eg endodontic
explorer, smooth broaches.
2. Debriding instruments assist in removal of pulp
and debris from the root canal. Eg barbed broach.
3. Shaping instruments to shape the root canal
laterally and apically so as to receive a root canal
filling. Eg files, reamers, etc.
4. Obturating instruments to cement and pack gutta
percha into the root canal. Eg spreader, plugger,
Nowadays an addition has been made. Access cavity
preparation instuments.
Shaping instruments were further
divided into 3 groups by Cohen
I. Group 1 hand use only. Reamers, files.
II. Group 2 instruments having latch type
attachment. Peaso reamer, glades glidden
III. Group 3 instruments of group 1 used with
handpiece. Giromatic handpiece.
Standardization of endodontic
1. Instruments to be numbered from 10 to 100.
Numbers to advance by 5 units till 60 and 10 units till
2. Each number will be representative of the diameter
of the instrument in hundredth of a millimeter at the
tip. For eg no 10 is 10/100 or 0.1mm at tip. No 25 is
25/100 or 0.25mm at the tip.
3. The working blade shall begin at the tip designated as
D0 and terminate 16mm up the shaft. The diameter
of the instrument at D16 will be 32/100 or 0.32mm
greater than that of D0, ie a constant increase of
0.02mm taper every mm regardless of the size.
Other specifications added later on
A. Tip angle of 75 15.
B. 100,110,120,130,140,150, 06, 08, & 10 size of instruments
were added.
C. Color coding was introduced.
40black and so on.
D. Available in lengths of 21mm, 25mm, 28mm and 31mm.
Physical characteristics of reamers
and files.
Available as
Carbon steel
Stainless steel
3. Nickel titanium
Stainless steel wire was ground into either 4 sided {square} or
3 sided {triangular} blanks. They were then twisted to form
flutes extending 16mm from the tip of the cutting blade.
Number of flutes twisted determines whether the instrument
is a reamer or file.
Reamer flutes are spaced. ie less number of flutes.
File flutes are closer. ie more number of flutes.
Blanks used for smaller instruments where instrument
fracture is possible.
Blanks used where cutting efficiency is to be increased.

K-flex : Recently {rhomboidal} shaped blanks have
been twisted to produce a file called as K-flex.
Combination of square and triangular blanks.
Alternating high and low flutes. Increases flexibility and
cutting efficiency.
Hedstroem files : H-files, wire is machine cut to
produce spiral flutes resembling cones or screw.
Greater cutting efficiency than K-file, but is fragile and
breaks easily.
Unifiles : machined from wire to produce flutes in a
double helix design.
Functional characteristics of reamers
and files.
A. Reamer rotating, pushing motion, limited to a
quarter turn , engaging the dentin and pulling motion
till the working length is achieved.
B. File same size file is inserted to the working
length, lateral pressure applied and withdrawn with a
pulling motion. procedure repeated all around the
canal walls. Known as circumferential filling.
Next size reamer is taken and the entire
procedure is repeated.
Rotary endodontic instruments
These are engine driven. With the introduction
of nickel-titanium files, rotary instruments
became popular. Less time consuming and
better canal shape were the advantages.
The advantages of ni-ti files were low elastic
modulus and good flexibility.
The disadvantages were, it is expensive and
dificult to manufacture.
Example : giromatic , racer.
Recent advances.
1. Profile series and Profile G.T.
2. Protaper series.
3. Light speed.
4. Quantec
5. POW-R
6. Hero 642
7. Sonic and Ultrasonic.
Photographs of endodontic
Shaping instruments
Gates Glidden drill Peaso reamer
Obturating instruments
Paper points Gutta percha
Thank you

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