Root canal spreaders are available in a wide variety of diameters, lengths, and tapers. Proposed ANSI/ADA Specification no. 71 standardizes certain properties of these instruments; however, none of these testing procedures subjects the instruments to conditions of clinical usage. Diameters (D3 and D16) and taper of 40 D11T root canal spreaders from each of three companies [Endeco (EN), Hu-Friedy (HF), and Premier (PR)] were measured. Permanent angular deformation of the instrument tip was measured by a bend test apparatus for four conditions: (group A) as-supplied control, (group B) spreader sterilized in an autoclave for 10 cycles, (group C) spreader inserted 50 times at a rate of 200 mm/min into plastic blocks with a canal curvature of 30 degrees, and (group D) spreader sterilized for 10 cycles and then inserted in blocks as described. All instruments passed the bend test in proposed specifications under all conditions. The EN spreader was more susceptible to permanent deformation than HF or PR. There were no statistical differences among the control and the three simulated clinical conditions.
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