Effect of Canal Length and Curvature on Working Length Alteration with WaveOne Reciprocating Files

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This study evaluated the working length (WL) modification after instrumentation with WaveOne Primary (Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) reciprocating files and the incidence of overinstrumentation in relation to the initial WL.


Thirty-two root canals of permanent teeth were used. The angles of curvature of the canals were calculated on digital radiographs. The initial WL with K-files was transferred to the matched WaveOne Primary reciprocating files. After glide paths were established with PathFile (Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland), canals were shaped with WaveOne Primary referring to the initial WL. The difference between the postinstrumentation canal length and the initial canal length was analyzed by using a fiberoptic inspection microscope. Data were analyzed with a balanced 2-way factorial analysis of variance (P < .05).


Referring to the initial WL, 24 of 32 WaveOne Primary files projected beyond the experimental apical foramen (minimum–maximum, 0.14–0.76 mm). A significant decrease in the canal length after instrumentation (95% confidence interval ranging from −0.34 mm to −0.26 mm) was detected. The canal curvature significantly influenced the WL variation (F1 = 30.65, P < .001). The interaction between the initial canal length and the canal curvature was statistically significant (F2 = 4.38, P = .014).


Checking the WL before preparation of the apical third of the root canal is recommended when using the new WaveOne NiTi single-file system.

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