Cleaning and shaping of root canals are essential steps for the success of endodontic therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the tissue debridement efficacy of the self-adjusting file (SAF) protocol in the apical third of oval-shaped canals of mandibular incisors in comparison with a nickel-titanium rotary system preparation.
Twenty-six single-rooted human mandibular incisor teeth were selected and assigned to a control (n = 4) and 2 experimental groups (n = 11) according to 1 of 2 instrumentation techniques, SAF and nickel-titanium rotary systems. After root canal preparation, the apical thirds of the specimens were submitted to histologic processing and analyzed by optical microscopy regarding the percentage of debris and uninstrumented root canal walls. The data were statistically compared by using unpaired t test with Welch's correction, and the level of significance was set at 5%.
The percentage of remaining debris and uninstrumented canal perimeter was significantly lower in SAF group (2.18 ± 2.71 and 12.33 ± 7.85, respectively) than in rotary group (13.11 ± 12.98 and 53.54 ± 15.95, respectively) (P < .05). In the SAF group most of specimens were completely free of debris, whereas in the rotary group 53% of the canals presented debris.
SAF had significantly more contact to the dentin walls and removed more debris than rotary instrumentation in the apical third of mandibular incisors.