This study measured displacement of canal centers in extracted human teeth after preparation by Lightspeed and nickel-titanium K-files. The specimens were divided into two groups (n = 11), after radiographing the roots from the buccolingual and mesiodistal planes with pathfinding files in situ. More strongly and less strongly curved canals were, respectively, assigned to the Lightspeed and nickel-titanium K-file groups. Using a reassembly technique, cross-sections at 1.25 mm, 3.25 mm, and 5.25 mm from the apices were made of the experimental roots embedded in clear plastic. Stereomicroscopic 35-mm slides were taken of the uninstrumented sectioned canals. The sections were reassembled and then prepared to size 50 Master Apical Rotary and size 40 Master Apical Files, for the Lightspeed and K-file groups, respectively. Similar 35-mm slides of the instrumented canals were taken and electronically superimposed over their uninstrumented counterparts. Displacements of root canal centers after preparation and increases in cross-sectional areas of the prepared root canals were evaluated at specific levels. No significant differences in displacement of canal centers or between the mean cross-sectional areas of the instrumented root canals were recorded between the Lightspeed and K-file groups. Both types of instruments produced similar displacement of canal centers after preparation.