The purpose of this study was to compare canal transportation in moderately curved canals using mechanical instrumentation systems. Mesial roots of mandibular first or second molars were mounted in resin using a modified Bramante muffle system and divided into four groups. The roots were cross-sectioned 2 mm from the working length and at the height of root curvature. Tracings of the canal were made from preinstrumentation slides of the cross-sections. The canals were prepared using ProFile Series 29 rotary instruments, Quantec 2000 rotary instruments, Flex-R files in the Endo Gripper contra-angle handpiece, and Shaping Hedstrom files in the M4 contra-angle handpiece. Tracings of the prepared canals were made onto the originals from postinstrumentation slides. A canal centering ratio was calculated along the line of maximum transportation. Quantec 2000 rotary instruments yielded significantly greater transportation at the apical level when compared with the Profile Series 29 system. There were no other significant differences in transportation at either level. There were no differences in the direction of canal transportation between instrument systems, and the direction of canal transportation was not related to the direction of canal curvature. Canal preparation time was shortest with Profile Series 29 system followed by Flex-R files in the Endo Gripper, Quantec 2000, and Shaping Hedstrom files in the M4.
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