A Comparative Study of ProTaper Universal and ProTaper Next Used by Undergraduate Students to Prepare Root Canals

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether final-year undergraduate dental students achieved better shaping outcomes using the new ProTaper Next (PTN; Dentsply Sirona, Ballaigues, Switzerland) system to prepare root canals for the first time compared with the existing ProTaper Universal (PTU, Dentsply Sirona) system on which they had trained. A secondary aim was to explore the attitudes and preferences of the students toward both systems.


Forty students prepared 1 simulated S-shaped canal using PTN and another with PTU. Images of the canals were saved before and after preparation, and the outcomes assessed included the formation of aberrations and the amount of resin removed at specific points along the canal length. Student opinions relating to PTN and PTU were collected via a questionnaire completed immediately after using the systems. For statistical analysis, the McNemar test was used to compare the incidence of aberrations, and a paired t test was used to analyze the width measurements. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using frequencies. Thus, the McNemar test was used for paired binary data and the marginal homogeneity test for categoric data when more than 2 categories were used. Finally, the overall preferences (either PTN or PTU) were analyzed using the sign/binomial test, which is a standard statistical test that allows us to determine if the proportion preferring one or the other is equal or not.


Canal ledges were formed in 30% of the canals prepared with PTU, whereas no ledges were formed with PTN (P < .001). A middle constriction, a form of canal aberration, was created by both systems although it occurred significantly (P = .006) more often with PTN. The “number of files” was judged by students to be significantly higher (P < .001) for PTU compared with PTN. Even though using PTN for the first time, students were more likely to recommend the system to other students for preparing S-shaped canals than PTU (P = .018) and preferred to use PTN in the future (P < .001).


The students who had previous experience with the use of PTU were able to produce comparable shaping outcomes when they used PTN for the first time. For the preparation of S-shaped canals, the students preferred PTN over PTU in terms of the number of files and would prefer to use it in the future.

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