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This study evaluated the influence of cervical preflaring on the incidence of root dentin defects after root canal preparation.Extracted human maxillary central incisors were selected and allocated to 1 control group and 12 experimental groups (n = 15). Teeth in the control group were left unprepared, whereas the others were prepared using 2 reciprocating single-file systems (Reciproc and WaveOne [WO]), 3 full-sequence rotary systems (ProTaper Universal, ProTaper Next [PTN], and ProFile), and K-files driven by an oscillatory system, with and without cervical preflaring. Roots were then horizontally sectioned at 4, 8, and 12 mm from the apex, stained with 1% methylene blue, and viewed through a stereomicroscope at ×25 magnification. Slices were inspected and the absence/presence of defects (fractures, partial cracks, and craze lines) recorded. Data were analyzed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Levene tests followed by the Tukey post hoc test at a significance level of P < .05.No root dentin defects were observed in the control group. WO was associated with a significantly higher number of defects than K-files, ProFile, and PTN (P < .05), but was not significantly different from Reciproc or ProTaper Universal (P > .05). Cervical preflaring significantly reduced the incidence of fractures and other defects in the WO and PTN groups (P < .05).All instruments caused root dentin defects, regardless of the enlargement or not of the cervical portion. Cervical preflaring was associated with a lower incidence of defects, mainly in root canals prepared with WO and PTN.Root canal preparation with instruments in continuous rotation, reciprocation, or oscillatory movement produced root dentin defects.Cervical preflaring played an important role in reducing fractures and the formation of other defects, especially in root canals prepared with the WaveOne and ProTaper Next systems.Cervical preflaring reduced the incidence of root dentin defects at all 3 sections of the root canal.