Endodontic File

Endodontic File and reamers are the surgical tools that are used by dentists when they are doing root canal treatment. Endodontic File is a very basic tool that is used to clean and shape the root canal.  There are a lot of instruments with several guides but still, they are difficult to apply and use. Endodontic instruments have made this part of a dentist easy. Ingle and LeVine, were the first to suggest a definite increment in diameter as the size progressed while maintaining a constant taper of all blades regardless of size.

Endodontic instruments are divided into 4 major categories which are:

  • Exploring
  • Extirpating
  • Enlarging (cleaning and shaping)
  • Filling


Natural anatomy dictates the usual places for canals, but pulp stones, dystrophic calcifications, and restorations can alter the actual configuration encountered. The endodontic explorer is used to locate orifices, and as a tool to remove calcification.


For extirpating a tool is used known as a barbed broach, which is not an enlarging instrument. The elevated barbs on the tool will enlarge the pulp tissue and will remove it from the canal.


From its name enlarging, it enlarges the surface of the tooth. The instrument that is used in enlarging is a K-type file. The K-type file is an instrument which is mostly and commonly used for cleaning and shaping the tooth.


The filling is done by filling the teeth holes or the holes that have been cleaned from cavities. The filling process is done so no more damage can happen to the teeth.

The general classification of endodontic instruments:

Group I:

Hand-operated endodontic instruments

  • Broaches
  • Files
  • Reamers

Group II:

Non-rotary endodontic instruments used with a handpiece

  • Engine-driven instruments
  •  Ultrasonic and sonic instruments

Group III:

Rotary endodontic instruments used with a handpiece 11

Standardization of Endodontic instruments:

The following are the standardization of Endodontic instrument:


  • instruments should be numbered from 10-100
  •  numbers to advance by 5 units from 10-60 size
  • numbers to advance by 10 units from 60-100 size
  • In a revised number, it includes 6-140 where numbers are advance by 2 units from 6-10.


each number shall be representative of the diameter of the instrument in hundredths of a millimeter at the tip. Eg. No. 10 is 10/100 or 0.1mm at the tip.


Shall begin at the tip, designated as Do, shall extend exactly 16mm up the shaft, terminating at designated site D16.

D0 AND D16:

 D16 diameter shall be 32/100 or 0.32 mm greater than that of D 0.


Shall be 75:15”


Instrument handles are color-coded for easier recognition


Endodontic File is designed in a way that it is easy to hold as it is designed as a pen which is easy to use and even reach those parts which fingers can’t reach. In simple it is better in both visibility and access. It has a gliding path defined with linear motion which reduces the incidence of rotary file breakage. Pen-style holder makes it more efficient axial filing with less fatigue and secure grip. 

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