Oral Health Group

Keeping Up with Technology

May 1, 2014
by Dr. Barry H. Korzen

Endodontics has often been referred to as “a big issue over a little tissue.” But if you counted the number of new file systems, new file designs, new technologies, etc., the adjective “big” doesn’t come close to describing what is happening in the market place. Almost every manufacturer of endodontic files is constantly trying to improve both the current versions of what they are marketing, while at the same time, developing new products to make the clinician’s life easier and patient’s experience better.

An immense amount of time, effort and financial resources are put into product development. And once a new or improved version is available for the marketplace, new protocols and IFU’s (Instructions for Use) are included with the instruments. These instructions are an essential source of information put together by the manufacturer and their team of clinical experts to help guide the clinician to use the instrument in the most ideal fashion.


With new iterations of a well-known file design, there are often subtle changes that have to be incorporated into a new clinical regimen. Take the time to read and familiarize yourself with the protocols that accompany your file system of choice. When introducing a new file or new version of your current file into your practice, take the time to use them on a few extracted teeth to ensure that you are comfortable with the changes and that you have correctly reset your rotary engines to reflect any change in RPM or torque.

Regularly check the websites of the various file manufacturers to see if any changes have been made to the system you are using. Most sites have FAQ (frequently asked questions) and/or Technical Insight sections that address various clinical situations.

And avail yourself of the continuing education courses that many of the companies offer.  All too often there is a concern that courses sponsored by companies are no more than infomercials. But a close look at the people giving these courses will, more often than not, show that they are individuals who are dedicated to teaching and are affiliated with many of the top ranking dental schools. They teach about specific techniques because these are the files and the techniques they use themselves and because working closely with a company, they often can have an influence on the next generation file design.

If you really want to know how to maximize the benefits from whatever instrument or technique you have decided to use, speak to your colleagues who teach that system. They have heard all the positive and negative comments from current users and get constant feedback from the manufacturer.

Continuous education no longer refers to only attending a lecture on a dedicated subject. With technology changing the way we practice, at a pace unheard of previously, we must continuously educate ourselves about the changes going on around us that impact ourselves, our treatment modalities and, most important, our patients. OH

Graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry and the Harvard University graduate Endodontic program, Dr. Korzen is the Founder of The Endo Academy (www.TheEndoAcademy.com) and Zendo Direct (www.ZendoDirect.com). He was an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean and former Head of the Discipline of Endo­dontics at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry. Besides authoring numerous papers Dr. Korzen has spoken to dental societies and organizations around the world and has delivered lectures at more than twenty universities. He has received fellowships from the American College of Stomatologic Surgeons, the International College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. Dr. Korzen is a Past-President of both the Canadian Academy of Endodontics and the Ontario Society of Endodontists and has been a long-standing member the American Association of Endodontists and the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.

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