Apical Transportation, Centering Ratio, and Volume Increase after Manual, Rotary, and Reciprocating Instrumentation in Curved Root Canals: Analysis by Micro-computed Tomographic and Digital Subtraction Radiography

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This study aimed to evaluate apical transportation (AT), centering ratio (CR), and volume increase (VI) produced after instrumentation of mesiobuccal canals of maxillary molars with hand files, rotary, and reciprocating instruments using micro–computed tomographic (micro-CT) imaging and to demonstrate the ability of digital subtraction radiography (DSR) to evaluate AT.


Forty-five canals were randomly assigned to either group K, manual K-files; PTN, ProTaper Next (Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland); or Rec, Reciproc (n = 15 for each group) for preparation. Master apical files were #25, X2 (#25/06), and R25 (#25/08), respectively. Micro-CT imaging was used to measure AT (mm) and CR (mm) at 3 different locations (1, 4, and 7 mm from the apex). VI (mm3) was measured for each root third and for the whole canal. DSR (mesiodistal and buccolingual projections) was used to measure AT at 1 mm from the apex.


AT and CR values were statistically similar across the groups at 1, 4, and 7 mm. AT results obtained for the different locations were similar within each group; CR, in turn, showed statistically lower values at 1 mm. VI was statistically similar in all groups. Both DSR and micro-CT imaging showed that AT always occurred on the outside of canal curvature. The highest mean value obtained for AT was 0.215 mm.


AT, CR, and VI were similar for the K, PTN, and Rec groups. AT results were clinically irrelevant. DSR was as effective as micro-CT imaging in AT analysis and could be considered as an alternative method for assessing this outcome.

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