To study the impact of dentine cutting efficiency of rotary instruments on the lateral force they create when instrumenting simulated root canals in bovine dentine.
Lateral cutting efficiency of austenitic files (ProTaper Universal) was compared to that of counterparts of a reported identical geometrical design with a martensite phase component (ProTaper Gold) in bovine dentine disks (n = 6). Instrument shapes were studied using digital microscopy. The intracanal lateral force exerted by the two systems in simulated premolars (n = 9) made from bovine incisor roots containing a standardized narrow root canal of 16 mm length was monitored using a testing apparatus equipped with a torque-controlled endodontic motor/handpiece. Data were compared using parametric statistics, alpha error = 0.05.
The geometrical design of the two systems under investigation was found to be identical. The martensitic nickel-titanium rotary files had a significantly (t-test, P < 0.05) higher lateral cutting efficiency than austenitic counterparts. This difference, however, did not impact the lateral force that was created when instrumenting simulated premolar root canals. Furthermore, lateral force peaks were generated with the progressively tapered instruments under investigation towards the full working length. Even though a glide path was prepared, the first instrument in the full-length sequence (S1) created the highest lateral force (anova/Tukey's HSD, P < 0.05).
The current experimental set-up allows the study of the lateral force generated during root canal instrumentation. This force was not influenced by the dentine cutting efficiency of the instruments under investigation, but rather by their geometrical design.