Effect of Reciprocating Systems and Working Lengths on Apical Microcrack Development: a micro-CT Study

<div><p>Abstract The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of root canal preparation with single-file reciprocating systems at different working lengths on the development of apical microcracks using micro-computed tomographic (micro-CT) imaging. Forty extracted human mandibular incisors were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n=10) according to the systems and working length used to prepare the root canals: Group A - WaveOne Gold at apical foramen (AF), Group B - WaveOne Gold 1 mm short of the AF (AF-1 mm), Group C - Unicone (AF) and Group D - Unicone (AF-1 mm). Micro-CT scanning was performed before and after root canal preparation at an isotropic resolution of 14 µm. Then, three examiners assessed the cross-sectional images generated to detect microcracks in the apical portion of the roots. Apical microcracks were visualized in 3, 1, 1, and 3 specimens in groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. All these microcracks observed after root canal preparation already existed prior to instrumentation, and no new apical microcrack was detected. For all groups, the number of slices presenting microcracks after root canal preparation was the same as before canal preparation. Root canal preparation with WaveOne Gold and Unicone, regardless of the working length, was not associated with apical microcrack formation.</p></div>