The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of a two-frequency (Root ZX) and a five-frequency (Endo Analyzer Model 8005) electronic apex locator under clinical conditions. Thirty-two teeth planned for extraction were used. The coronal portion of each canal was flared using Gates Glidden drills and Orifice Shapers. The canals were irrigated with 2.6% sodium hypochlorite. A K-type file was used to determine a separate working length in each canal using the electronic apex locators. The teeth were extracted and the apical 4 mm of each root canal was exposed along the long axis of the tooth. Photographic slides of each canal were projected and the file position in relation to the minor diameter was determined by two investigators. The mean distance between the electronic apex locator working length and minor diameter was 1.03 mm for the Endo Analyzer and 0.19 mm for the Root ZX. A paired sample t test showed that the Endo Analyzer had significantly longer readings beyond the minor diameter than the Root ZX (p < 0.0001). The ability to locate the minor diameter (± 0.5 mm) was 90.7% for the Root ZX and 34.4% for the Endo Analyzer Model 8005.
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