Creating a glide path ensures that subsequent instruments move unimpeded from the coronal orifice to the apical constriction. Failure to establish the glide path can result in ledge formation, transportation of the natural canal anatomy, and blockage of the canal with dentin debris. If you are having difficulty “following” the canal to its radiographic terminus, it may be blocked by collagen or debris. Or the file diameter and shaft may be too wide for the canal. Try alternating smaller sized files until you reach the estimated working length. Then the glide path prep can be completed using Zendo’s SOLO niti Pathfinder file, which has an efficient flute design for debris removal and increased flexibility due to its #14 apical tip and slight .03 taper.
Sequence for creating consistent glide paths
1. “Follow” the canal to its radiographic terminus.
2. Use copious irrigation throughout the process of shaping the canal. Sodium hypochlorite, in combination with a carbamide-peroxide and EDTA-containing gel (such as Zendo RC Cleaner), is recommended for easy debris removal.
3. Pre-curve the canal using a #10 stainless-steel K-type hand file that mimics the canal curvature evidenced on the pre-op radiograph.
4. If the #10 K file is prevented from reaching the estimated working length (EWL), try a #08 K file. It may take a couple of tries and files, perhaps alternating with smaller sizes, to bypass debris without creating a new pathway. Then try the #10 K file again.
5. Complete the glide path prep using Zendo’s SOLO niti Pathfinder file. First place it within the canal to see how far down it will penetrate. Begin, in continuous rotation at 250-400 rpm, using a slow downward movement without pressure. If there is resistance, remove the file and wipe the flutes clean before continuing. Always irrigate the canal after each instrument passage.
6. Determine actual working length using a #15 K file either radiographically, or using an electronic digital apex locator.
7. Complete canal preparation using the best technique for the canal morphology.
For more details on Zendo SOLO Pathfinder protocols, email firstname.lastname@example.org.