Dental Tribune Nordic

Shaping the future of endodontics

By Henry Schein
August 19, 2021

TRELLEBORG, Sweden: This is truly the golden age of endodontics. Advancements in technology, metallurgy and manufacturing techniques have enabled the creation of revolutionary instruments that allow endodontists to have improved control and more precision than ever before when performing root canal therapy.

Heat treatment, or thermal processing, of nickel–titanium (NiTi) files has completely changed the endodontic industry. Heat-treating the files provides them with unprecedented flexibility and resistance to cyclic fatigue, allowing practitioners to perform procedures that would be difficult―if not unimaginable―with conventional nonheated files. EdgeEndo has focused research and development on the heat treatment of NiTi files and has developed a proprietary process to produce FireWire files that exhibit two to eight times the resistance to cyclic fatigue than most other NiTi files.

Increased resistance to cyclic fatigue delivers a file that can navigate intricately curved canals and is much more resistant to separation. Cyclic fatigue of an NiTi file occurs when the metal blade inside a curvature is subjected to repeated cycles of tension and compression that lead to stress, hardening and weakening of the material. Eventually, this leads to fracture of the metal. Cyclic fatigue is the most common cause of NiTi instrument separation, which can complicate the overall procedure and often affect the outcome of the case.

Heat treatment through EdgeEndo’s FireWire process produces a martensitic file that demonstrates incredible flexibility and improved elastic behavior. The benefits of a flexible file seem obvious, but some endodontists are not yet accustomed to a new generation of martensitic heat-treated files that have very low shape memory or none at all. Although shape memory may seem beneficial, it can cause a file to bounce back in the tooth, putting lateral pressure on the canal wall, potentially leading to canal transportation or ledge formation. Files that attempt to return to straight orientation put undue pressure not only on the canal wall but also on the file itself as it tries to straighten out in the canal. Less pressure means a longer file life and greater ease in following the natural shape of the canal.

Another advantage of an extremely flexible NiTi file that does not bounce back is the ability to prebend the file prior to insertion into the canal. This allows for easier access in the posterior area, where some canals, for example buccal canals, are difficult to find and insertion is complex owing to increased angulation. Moreover, in divergent canals, prebent NiTi files can more easily find and negotiate both of them. Flexibility not only along the length of the file but also up to the shaft allows better preservation of tooth structure and greatly reduces the chance of file fracture or iatrogenic error.

The technological innovations and advancements in heat treatment have improved NiTi file performance, making the process the most important feature affecting performance and safety. As a result, the excellent combination of shape memory and superelasticity have enabled dental professionals to properly shape complex canals in a way that was unimaginable with standard NiTi files. Taking advantage of these advancements does not necessarily come at a premium cost. In fact, EdgeEndo’s proprietary technology creates manufacturing efficiencies that allow us to offer superior NiTi files at a low cost.

It is an amazing time to be in the field of endodontics. The future is truly now. Innovation is occurring at a staggering rate and is being fueled by the passion for knowledge and expertise of our practitioners. EdgeEndo is excited about the new technologies on the horizon and is continuing to boldly go where no endodontic company has gone before.

Dental professionals can learn more about the system and offers at cliniclands.se.

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