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A New Era of Endodontic Therapy

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A number of years ago, Weine said that it?s far more important what you take out of the root canal and its final preparation than what you eventually end up filling the canal with. This principal is just as important today, and modern endodontic systems have not divorced themselves from this vital principal.

Probably the most significant recent modification has been the introduction of rotary endodontic systems. Their introduction has made it possible to accomplish the task of cleansing and shaping canals with less time and with greater efficiency. Used properly, these systems have resulted in an increased practice of endodontics in general practices where they were used less often in prior years. Their incorporation into the general practice environment has facilitated the one-appointment root canal for noncomplicated endodontic procedures without adverse reactions. During the first introduction of rotary endodontic systems, some concerns were expressed for the breaking of files during instrumentation with handpieces. Improvements in the manufacture of rotary files, education of clinicians, and experience with the systems has decreased the incidence of this type of adverse result.

The most controversial change to traditional endodontic techniques has been the introduction of filling or obturating systems and techniques. Many of these materials and techniques have undergone initial clinical investigation with excellent results, but long-term data is not available to assess their overall clinical efficacy. There is little question that these are exciting times for the discipline of endodontics, and I?m sure we?ll see continuing modifications to this once traditionally based practice in dentistry.

Here are some sources for more information on the recent changes in endodontics:

  1. Tronstad L. Recent developments in endodontic research. Scand J Dent Res. 1992; 100(1):52-9. Review.
  2. Weine FS. What?s new in endodontics. J Indiana Dent Assoc. 1986; 65(1):7-11.
  3. Somma F, Cammarota, G, Plotino G, Grande NM, Pameijer CH. The effectiveness of manual and mechanical instrumentation for the retreatment of three different root canal filling materials. J Endod. 2008 34(4):466-9.
  4. Penesis VA, Fitzgerald PI, Fayad MI, Wenckus CS, BeGole EA, Johnson BR. Outcome of one-visit and two-visit endodontic treatment of necrotic teeth with apical periodontitis: a randomized controlled trial with one-year evaluation. J Endod. 2008; 34(3):251-7.
  5. Ankrum MT, Hartwell GR, Truitt JE. K3 Endo, ProTaper, and ProFile systems: breakage and distortion in severly curved roots of molars. J Endod. 2004; 30(4):234-7.
  6. Cotton TP, Schindler WG, Schwartz SA, Watson WR, Hargresves KM. A retrospective study comparing clinical outcomes after obturation with Resilon/Epiphany or Gutta-Percha/Kerr sealer. J Endod. 2008; 34(7):789-97.

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