Effectiveness of ProTaper Universal® and D-RaCe® retreatment files in the removal of root canal filling material: an in vitro study using digital subtraction radiography

Caroline Zanesco, Roberta Garcia Prestes, Ronise Ferreira Dotto, Matias Geremia, Vania Regina Camargo Fontanela, Fernando Branco Barletta


Aim: To compare the effectiveness of the ProTaper Universal® Retreatment system, the D-Race® NiTi system and Hedströem files for removal of filling material from curved root canals.

Methodology: A total of 39 first mandibular molars were selected and their mesiobuccal (MB) canals were used for the study. Teeth were assigned to one of three identical groups (n = 13 per group) according to removal technique: G1 – ProTaper Universal® Retreatment (D1, D2, D3); G2 – D-RaCe® (DR1, DR2); or G3 – Hedströem files (35, 30, 25, 20). In all groups, supplementary files were used for re-preparation. Digital subtraction radiography images were produced by superimposing the first radiograph, taken after filling the canal, over the second, taking after removal of the filling, in buccolingual (BL) and mesiodistal (MD) projections. Quantitative data were analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficients and the Kruskal-Wallis and Friedman non-parametric tests (p ≤ 0.05).

Results: Comparison of groups detected no differences in filling removal between teeth in the ProTaper Universal® Retreatment, D-RaCe® or Hedströem file groups for the cervical or mid thirds (for either MD or BL projections). In the apical third (MD projection), ProTaper Universal® Retreatment produced the best results; and Hedströem files exhibited the worst results (MD projection). Intra-group comparisons showed that the cervical third was the cleanest and the apical third was the least well-cleaned, for the ProTaper Universal® Retreatment and D-RaCe® groups (MD projection), while less filling material was removed using Hedströem when the canals approached the apical third (MD and BL projections).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the ProTaper Universal® Retreatment system is the best choice for endodontic filling material removal, combined with supplementary instrumentation to achieve better results in the apical third.

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