Mechanical Properties of Endodontic Instruments

Objectives and Goals

  • able to describe the dimensions of endodontic instruments
  • able to describe the cutting abilities of the variety of endodontic instruments
  • able to describe the fracture susceptibility of endodontic instruments based on design and usage
  • able to compare the properties of the materials that are used in endodontic instruments

Cohen and Hargreaves.  Pathways of the Pulp.  9th edition. 2006. pp 238-254, 301-318. 

Council on Dent. Materials. Report #28 for endodontic files and #1 reamers.  J Amer Dent Assoc 1976;93:813-817  (with 1989 revisions).

Lautenschlager EP, Jacobs JJ, Marshall GW, Heuer MA.  Brittle and ductile torsional failures of endodontic instruments. J Endodon 1977; 3:175-178.

Lentine FN  A study of torsional and angular deflection of endodontic files and reamers. J Endodon 1979; 5:181-191.

Miserendino LJ, Miseendino CA, MKoser JB, Heuer MA, Osetek EM. Cutting efficiency of endodontic instruments. Part III. Comparison of sonic and ultrasonic instrument systems.  J Endodon 1988;14:24-30. .  

Walia H, Brantley WA, Gerstein H.  An initial investigation of the bending and torsional properties of nitinol root canal files. J Endodon 1988; 14:346-351.

Murgel CAF, Walton, RE, Rilttman B, Pecora JD.  A comparison of techniques for cleaning endodontic files after usage: A quantitative scanning electron microscopic study.  J Endodon 1990;16:214-217.

Luebke NE, Brantley WA.  Physical dimensions and torsional properties of rotary endodontic instruments I. Gates glidden drills. J Endodon1990;16:438-441.

Seto BG, Nicholls JI, Harrington GW.  Torsional properties of twisted and machined endodontic files.  J Endodon 1990;16:355-360.

Luebke NH, Brantley WA.  Torsional and metallurgical properties of rotary endodontic instruments II. Stainless steel Gates Glidden drills. J Endodon 1991;17:319-323.

Wolcott J, Himel V.  Torsional properties of nickel-titanium versus stainless steel endodontic files.  J Endodon 1997;4:217-220.

Silvaggio J, Hicks ML.  Effect of heat sterilization on the torsional properties of rotary nickel-titanium endodontic files. J Endodon 1997:12;731-734.

Haikel Y, Serfaty R, Speisser J, Allemann C.  Mechanical properties of nickel titanium endododntic instruments and the effect of sodium hypochlorite treatment.  J Endodon 1998:11;731-737.

Haikel Y, Serfaty R, Speisser J, Allemann C.  Cutting efficiency of nickel-titanium endodontic instruments and the effect of sodium hypochlorite treatment.  J Endodon 1998:11;736-739.

Gambarini G.  Cyclic fatigue of nickel-titanium rotary instruments after  clinical use with low- and high-torque endodontic motors.  J Endodon 2001:12;772-774.

Ruddle C.  Nickel titanium rotary systems.  Endodontic Practice 2001:4;7

Martin b, Zelada G, Varela P, Bahillo J, Magan F, Ahn S, Rodriguez C. Factors influencing the fracture of nickel-titanium rotary instruments.  Int Endod J 2003:36;262-266.

Shen Y, Shun-pan C, Bian A, Peng B.  Comparison of defects in ProFile and ProTaper systems after clinical use.  J Endodon 2006:1;61-65.

Yao J, Schwartz S, Beeson T.  Cyclic fatigue of three types of rotary nickel titanium files in a dynamic model.  J Endodon 2006:1;55-57.

Spanaki-Voreadi A, Kerezoudis N, Zinelis S.  Failure mechanism of ProTaper niti rotary instruments during clinical use:  fractographic analysis.  Int Endo J 2006:39;171-178.

Alexandrou G, Chrissafis K, Vasiliadis L, Pavlidou E, Polychroniadis E,  SEM observations and differential scanning calorimetric studies of new and sterilized nickel-titanium rotary endodontic instruments.  JEndodon 2006:7;675-679.

Kitchens G, Liewehr F, Moon P.  The effect of operational speed on the fracture of nickel-titanium rotary instruments.  J Endodon 2007:33;52-54. 


Gutierrez, Juan H., et al;  Physical and chemical deterioration of endodontic reamers during mechanical preparation.  Oral Surg 28:394.

Chernick LB, Jacobs JJ, Lautenschalger EP, Heuer MA.  Torsional failure of endodontic files. J Endodon 1976;2:94-97.

Eichner, M.A., et al;  Effect of protein and sodium hypochlorite on endodontic instruments. JOE 2(11):335.

Felt, R.A., et al;  Flare design of endodontic instruments: Its influence on cutting efficiency. J Endodon 8(6):253.

Segall, Ronald O., et al;  Evaluation of endodontic instruments as received from the manufacturer: the demand for quality control. Oral Surg 44(3).

Machian, George R., et al;  The comparative efficiency of four types of endodontic instruments.  J Endodon 8(9).

Roth WC, Gough RW, Grandich RA, Walker WA.  A study of the strength of endodontic files; Potential for torsional breakage and relative flexibility. J Endodon 1983; 9:228-232.

Newman, John G., et al;  A study of the cutting efficiency of seven brands  of endodontic files in linear motion. J Endodon  9(8).

Krupp JD, Brantley WA, Gerstein H.  An investigation of the torsional and bending properties of seven brands of endodontic files.  J Endodon 1984;10:372-380.

Miserendino LJ, Moser JB, Heuer MA, Osetek EM.  Cutting efficacy of endodontic instruments. Part1. A quantitative comparison of the tip and fluted regions. J Endodon 1984;11:434-441

Powell SE, Simon JS, Maze BB.  A comparison of the effect of modified and non modified instrument tips on apical canal configuration. J Endodon 1986;12:293-300.

Scott, G.L., et al;   Ultrasonic endodontics: The wear of instruments with usage. J Endodon 12(7):279.

Miserendino LJ, Moser JB, Heuer MA, Osetek EM.  Cutting efficiency of endodontic instruments. Part II. Analysis of tip design.  J Endodon 1986; 12:8-12.

Cormier CJ, von Fraunhofer JA, Chamberlain JH.  A comparison of endodontic file quality and file dimensions. J Endodon 1988;14:138-142

Stenman E, Spangberg LSW.  Machining efficiency of flex-R, K-flex,                     trio-cut, and S-files.  J Endodon 1990;16:575-579

Keate KC, Wong M.  A comparison of endodontic file tip quality. J Endodon 1990;16:486-491

Haikel Y, Gasser P, Allemann C. Dynamic fracture of hybrid endodontic hand instruments compared with traditional files. J Endodon 1991;17:217-220.

Massa GR, Nicholls JI, Harrington GW. Torsional properties of the canal master instrument. J Endodon 1992;18:222-227.

Zuolo ML, Walton RE, Murgel CAF. Canal master files: Scanning electron microslpic evaluation of new instruments and their wear with clinical usage. J Endodon 1992;18:336-339.

Hennequin M, Andre JF, Botta G. Dentin removal efficiency of six               endodontic systems: A quantitative comparison. J Endodon 1992;18:601-605.

Camps J, Pertot W.  Relationship between file size and stiffness of                         stainless steel instruments. Endod Dent Traumatol 1994; 10:260-263.

Luebke N, Brantley W, Sabri Z, Luebke F, Lausen L.  Physical dimensions, torsional performance, bending properties, and metallurgical characteristics of rotary endodontic instruments. VI. Canal master drills. J Endodon 1995;5:259-263.

Schrader C, Sener B, Barbakow F.  Evaluating the sizes of Lightspeed instruments.  IntEndodJ 1998:31;295-300.

Stokes O, Di Fiore P, Barss J, Koerber A, Gilbert J, Lautenschlager E. Corrosion in stainless-steel and nickel-titanium files.  J Endodon1999:1;17-20.

Svec T, Powers J.  Torsional strength of gates glidden drills exposed to clinical conditions.  J Endodon 1999:2;126-127.

Haikel H, Serfaty R, Bateman G, Senger B,  Allemann C.  Dynamic and cyclic fatigue of engine-driven rotary nickel-titanium endododntic instruments.  J Endodon 1999:6;434-440.

Gabel W, Hoen M, Steiman R, Pink F, Dietz R. Effect of rotational speed on nickel-titanium file distortion. JEndodon 1999:11;752-754

Yared G, Dagher F, Machtou P.  Failure of Profile instruments used with high and low torque motors.  IntEndodJ 2001:34;471-475

Yared G, Dagher F, Machtou P.  Influence of rotational speed, torque and operator’s proficiency on ProFile failures.  IntEndodJ 2001:34;47-53

Berutti E, Negro A, Lendini M, Pasqualini D.  Influence of manual preflaring and torque on the failure rate of Protaper rotary instruments.  Jendodon 2004:4;228-230