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  • <p>The parts of a root canal file.</p><p>A = The working end of a root canal file.</p><p>1) It's made out of a flexible metal so it can follow the gradual contours of a canal.</p><p>2) It also has a tapered shape, once again, not unlike that of a canal.</p><p>Just like teeth, files come in different lengths. 21mm files are typically long enough for treating back teeth and lower incisors. The roots of upper front teeth and lower eyeteeth are usually longer, so 25mm files may be needed.</p>
     

    The parts of a root canal file.

    A = The working end of a root canal file.

    1) It's made out of a flexible metal so it can follow the gradual contours of a canal.

    2) It also has a tapered shape, once again, not unlike that of a canal.

    Just like teeth, files come in different lengths. 21mm files are typically long enough for treating back teeth and lower incisors. The roots of upper front teeth and lower eyeteeth are usually longer, so 25mm files may be needed.

  • <p>This illustration shows the spiral nature of a file's cutting surface.</p><p>As a file is worked up and down, with a twisting motion, its sides scour and rasp the root canal's walls. </p>
     

    This illustration shows the spiral nature of a file's cutting surface.

    As a file is worked up and down, with a twisting motion, its sides scour and rasp the root canal's walls.

  • <p>B = File measurement markings.</p><p>C = Movable plastic stopper.</p><p>Items B and C help the dentist know how much file length they are working with inside a canal. That's important because they want to clean all of the way to the end of the canal but not beyond the end of the tooth.</p><p>The plastic stopper (C) is slipped to a point on the file that marks the needed length (D). The stopper then acts as a bumper that keeps the file from sliding inside the tooth any further.</p>
     

    B = File measurement markings.

    C = Movable plastic stopper.

    Items B and C help the dentist know how much file length they are working with inside a canal. That's important because they want to clean all of the way to the end of the canal but not beyond the end of the tooth.

    The plastic stopper (C) is slipped to a point on the file that marks the needed length (D). The stopper then acts as a bumper that keeps the file from sliding inside the tooth any further.

  • <p>Files come in a stepped series of graduated sizes (i.e. 10, 15, 20, etc...).</p><p>The color of a file's handle (and the corresponding number embossed on it) indicates its diameter and flare.</p><p>Dentists typically keep a range of file sizes on hand (8, and then 10 to 70 in increments of 5). As you can see, it can be difficult to tell much difference between two consecutive files.</p><p>As a dentist uses each larger and larger file size, the shape of the canal is enlarged and flared.</p>
     

    Files come in a stepped series of graduated sizes (i.e. 10, 15, 20, etc...).

    The color of a file's handle (and the corresponding number embossed on it) indicates its diameter and flare.

    Dentists typically keep a range of file sizes on hand (8, and then 10 to 70 in increments of 5). As you can see, it can be difficult to tell much difference between two consecutive files.

    As a dentist uses each larger and larger file size, the shape of the canal is enlarged and flared.