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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 4 ( April, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Presence of Metallic Microfragments on Dentinal Walls and Instrument Defects following Root Canal Preparation

Carlos Estrela, Daniel de A Decurcio, Fernando B Barletta, Caroline Solda, Marina C Langaro, Alessandra N Machado, José R Vanni, Julio A Silva

Citation Information : Estrela C, de A Decurcio D, Barletta FB, Solda C, Langaro MC, Machado AN, Vanni JR, Silva JA. Presence of Metallic Microfragments on Dentinal Walls and Instrument Defects following Root Canal Preparation. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017; 18 (4):270-276.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-2030

Published Online: 01-08-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).



To determine the presence of metallic microfragments and their elemental composition in the dentinal walls of root canals following preparation using different endodontic instruments and to assess the active cutting edges of instruments with regard to structural defects.

Materials and methods

A total of 108 molar teeth were selected and prepared using different endodontic instruments. Teeth were randomly divided into nine groups of 12 teeth each, according to the instruments employed: Manual systems – K-FlexoFile, K-File, and Hedstroem; rotary systems – ProTaper Next, Mtwo, BioRaCe; and reciprocating systems – Reciproc, Unicone, and WaveOne. Both root canals and instruments were assessed using scanning electron microscopy, and the elemental composition of metallic microfragments was determined using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.


Metallic microfragments were found in the groups prepared with both manual and reciprocating instruments, with no statistically significant differences between groups, thirds, or presence of metallic microfragments (p ≥ 0.05). Moreover, all groups presented structural defects in both new and used instruments; however, rotary instruments (ProTaper Next, Mtwo 702, BioRaCe) were the ones with the lowest number of defects, at statistically significant differences in comparison with other instruments (p < 0.05).


The presence of metallic microfragments on dentinal walls following root canal preparation was associated with manual and reciprocating instrumentation. Furthermore, rotary instruments were the ones with the lowest number of defects. Considering the outcomes measured in this study, rotary instruments performed better than the other two groups, as they were associated with the lowest number of metallic microfragments and structural defects.

Clinical significance

During root canal preparation, operative procedures may induce changes to the root canal shape, as well as the release of metallic fragments resulting from the action of instruments on dentinal walls. Therefore, it is important to determine, among the different techniques used for this purpose, which ones are least susceptible to this occurrence.

How to cite this article

Solda C, Langaro MC, Machado AN, Vanni JR, de A Decurcio D, Silva JA, Estrela C, Barletta FB. Presence of Metallic Microfragments on Dentinal Walls and Instrument Defects following Root Canal Preparation. J Contemp Dent Pract 2017;18(4):270-276.

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