Factors affecting the cutting ability of sonic files

P. J. Lumley, E. Harrington, E. Aspinwall, L. Blunt, A. D. Walmsley, P. M. Marquis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the cutting ability of sonic files. A model system was developed and the following variables evaluated: file type, Heliosonic or Shaper; file length, 21 or 29 mm; power, air inlet ring opening of half or fully open; stroke length, 2 or 4 mm; stroke rate, one or two cycles per second; and load 50 or 100 g. A 26 full-factorial analysis with two replications into the effect of the above variables on the cutting ability of the MM1500 sonic instrument was performed. A new size 25 file was used for each cut, together with water irrigation, and the substrate used was 1-mm thick sections of bovine bone. The differences between the variables were significant (ANOVA, P<0.001). However, examination of the F-values showed that the most significant variable to affect cutting was load, followed by power, file type, stroke length and stroke rate, with the least significant variable being file length. The most significant interaction was between rate and length of stroke. An increase in stroke rate from one to two cycles per second at a stroke length of 2 mm produced an increase in cutting for both the Heliosonic and Shaper files. However, at the longer stroke length of 4 mm, the same increase in rate resulted in a decrease in cutting for the Shaper files. Therefore, it is suggested that operators should press the file against the canal wall and move it slowly to maximize cutting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


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