Diameter and Taper Variability of Single-file Instrumentation Systems and Their Corresponding Gutta-percha Cones

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Manufacturers offer single-file instrumentation systems with matching gutta-percha (GP) cones to simplify root canal preparation and obturation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether file diameters and tapers match with corresponding cone diameters and tapers (precision) as well as industry standards (accuracy).


Twenty files and corresponding GP cones from each size of F360 (#25, #35, #45, #55 with .04 taper) and Reciproc (#25, #40, #50 with variable tapers) instruments were examined by using optical microscopy (×32) to determine their diameter and taper. Precision was evaluated by using one-way analysis of variance (α = 0.05) with Scheffé post hoc tests and t tests with Bonferroni correction. Accuracy was calculated by subtracting the nominal values from the measured values of all files and GP cones, and mean diameter and taper differences were compared by using one-way analysis of variance (α = 0.05) and Scheffé post hoc test for pairwise comparison.


For F360, the majority of file and cone diameters were within the tolerance levels, but most of the file diameters were significantly larger than GP cone diameters (P < .05), but the majority of all measured values were within the tolerance levels. For Reciproc, file and cone diameters at D1 and D3 mostly approached the nominal values. At the coronal end, file diameters #25 and #50 were significantly smaller than cone diameters (P < .05). For both instrumentation systems, almost all file and cone tapers matched with the preset tolerance ranges. For Reciproc, significant differences between file and GP cone demonstrated either smaller cone or smaller file diameters and tapers, depending on the size. Most of the measured values were within the acceptable range, but diameters at the coronal end exhibited the highest percent difference from the nominal values.


Despite the call for standardization, variability in diameter and taper dimensions between single-file instrumentation systems and their corresponding GP cones can be expected.

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