Apical limit and working length in endodontics

Stephane Simon, Pierre Machtou, Nick Adams, Phillip Tomson, Philip Lumley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Establishing the working length is an important step in endodontic treatment as inaccurate length determination may lead to failure. There is an ongoing debate regarding the extent of the apical limit of root canal preparation. This controversy is based upon different clinical opinions concerning the distance between the end point of the root canal preparation and the periodontal tissues. In this paper, we review the different schools of thought for working length determination, and how apex locators work and how they must be used for optimal accuracy. The reliability of these devices has been proven; the price is moderate and apex locators are now part of the basic armamentarium in the achievement of quality and predictable endodontic treatment. Clinical Relevance: The technique of determining the working length from a single radiograph remains empirical, and apex locators should be considered an essential aid in establishing working length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-50, 153
JournalDental Update
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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