Analyzing endosonic root canal file oscillations: an in vitro evaluation.

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INTRODUCTION: Passive ultrasonic irrigation may be used to improve bacterial reduction within the root canal. The technique relies on a small file being driven to oscillate freely within the canal and activating an irrigant solution through biophysical forces such as microstreaming. There is limited information regarding a file's oscillation patterns when operated while surrounded by fluid as is the case within a canal root. METHODS: Files of different sizes (#10 and #30, 27 mm and 31 mm) were connected to an ultrasound generator via a 120 degrees file holder. Files were immersed in a water bath, and a laser vibrometer set up with measurement lines superimposed over the files. The laser vibrometer was scanned over the oscillating files. Measurements were repeated 10 times for each file/power setting used. RESULTS: File mode shapes are comprised of a series of nodes/antinodes, with thinner, longer files producing more antinodes. The maximum vibration occurred at the free end of the file. Increasing generator power had no significant effect on this maximum amplitude (p > 0.20). Maximum displacement amplitudes were 17 to 22 microm (#10 file, 27 mm), 15 to 21 microm (#10 file, 31 mm), 6 to 9 microm (#30 file, 27 mm), and 5 to 7 microm (#30, 31 mm) for all power settings. Antinodes occurring along the remaining file length were significantly larger at generator power 1 than at powers 2 through 5 (p <0.03). CONCLUSIONS: At higher generator powers, energy delivered to the file is dissipated in unwanted vibration resulting in reduced vibration displacement amplitudes. This may reduce the occurrence of the biophysical forces necessary to maximize the technique's effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-3
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endodontics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


  • oscillation patterns
  • laser vibrometry
  • ultrasonics
  • Endosonics


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