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Address iconAddress: 601 NW Loop 410,
Suite 455 San Antonio, TX 78216
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San Antonio Rotary Instrumentation

A few years ago, a new nickel-titanium alloy was introduced for dental root canal instruments. This alloy is very flexible and has enabled the creation of  improved instrumentation for root canal treatments.

Before this, cleaning out and instrumenting a root canal was done with stainless steel hand instruments. The introduction of the nickel-titanium alloy has allowed the development of mechanized cleaning tools, making the process faster, more efficient, and more comfortable for the patient. The stainless steel instruments were also much more vulnerable to breaking and it was more difficult to navigate curved canals.

How Rotary Instrumentation Works

a photo of a rotary root canal handpiece being held in a gloved handA dental rotary tool consists of a handpiece and a series of removable tips—tiny files made of nickel-titanium (NiTi) alloy. The flexibility of NiTi helps the tips bend and twist to travel small, curved root paths.

Rotary vs. Manual Tools

The essential root canal procedure is the same with either rotary or manual files. Endodontic files come in an array of sizes. The endodontist pushes one file at a time through the tooth’s canal, cleaning it of debris and smoothing the sides of the canal. The file is carefully measured to be the exact length of the canal. He or she works through the files from small to large. Each file widens the canal a little more. The end result is a smooth canal that is large enough to receive the root canal filling material which will seal the tooth against re-infection. Rotary handpieces speed up this process, removing debris more efficiently.

Here at Oak Hills Endodontics we use rotary instrumentation in conjunction with other technology, such as electronic apex locators, 3D digital imaging, endodontic microscopes, and apex locators. You can click the link to learn more about these technologies.

Is Rotary Endodontic Treatment Painful?

Of course, your tooth is made numb before working on it, and, if needed, we can provide you with sedation. So there is no pain associated with the use of these instruments. And rotary instruments enhance patient comfort by helping the procedure go faster and more efficiently.

If you’d like to make an appointment at Oak Hills Endodontics, please call us at 210-342-2444. If you’d like, just fill out our appointment request form here and we will call you. While many of our patients are referred by their general dentist, no referral is necessary.