Determination of the working length is one of the most important steps of endodontic treatment as it dictates the subsequent steps in therapy too. Manual methods of determining working length were often unreliable, and radiographic methods too, posed a few disadvantages as only a two-dimensional picture could be obtained. The advent of apex locators revolutionized the field of endodontics. Apex locators are devices used in endodontics to accurately determine the working length in endodontic treatment. The first apex locator was developed in the year 1969. Since then there have been various generations of apex locators making endodontic therapy far more efficient and drastically reducing the time taken for the procedure.
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SIX GENERATIONS OF APEX LOCATORS PinkBlue.in
APEX LOCATORS An ideal root canal treatment comprises of removal of the infected or inflamed pulp tissue and cleaning and shaping of the canals till the apical constriction followed by 3D filing of the root canal with a biocompatible inert substitute. In order to achieve this, determination of an accurate length of the roots is essential. Working length determination plays a major role in assessing the prognosis of root canal therapy. In the case of improper working length, one of two undesirable outcomes is inevitable namely, over instrumentation or under instrumentation. Over instrumentation leads to damage of the periapical tissues, whereas under instrumentation results in inadequate debridement of the apical portion, ultimately leading to failure of endodontic therapy.
HOW DO APEX LOCATORS WORK? The root apex has a specific resistance that it offers to the electrical current. This is measured using two terminals guided into the lip and connected to the endodontic file. The idea behind the working of the apex locator is that once the circuit is finished (the file is in contact with the tissue), there is a diminution in resistance and flow in current. This event is signaled by a beep, flashing lights, digital readouts or pointers on the device to alert the operator.
GENERATIONS OF APEX LOCATORS THE CONSISTENT RESEARCH AND ADVANCEMENT IN DENTISTRY HAS RESULTED IN 6 GENERATIONS OF APEX LOCATORS.
1st Generation Apex Locator: The first generation of apex locators were based on the finding that the electrical resistance between the endodontic instrument at the apical foramen and the electrode attached to the mucous membrane was 6.5kW. They were hence also known as resistane based apex locators. They were developed in 1969 by Onuki Medical Co., Tokyo, Japan as The Root Canal Meter. But these devices were unreliable when compared with radiographs with discrepancies upto 6mm.
These apex locators measured the opposition to the flow of the alternating current which is impedance. They were hence also called impedance based apex locators. They were of single frequency impedance type. Impedance comprises resistance and capacitance, having a sinusoidal amplitude trace 2nd Generation Apex Locator:
3rd Generation Apex Locator: The difference in third generation apex locators when compared to the second generation variants was that the former used multiple frequencies in determining the distance from the apex. With more powerful microprocessors these apex locators have the ability to process the mathematical quotient and algorithm calculations that are essential in giving accurate readings.
The fourth generation of apex locators used two separate frequencies, 400Hz and 8kHz. This was similar to the third generation units. However, manufacturers claimed that the using one frequency at a time in combination with basing measurements on the root mean square values of the signals, increased the accuracy in measurement and as a result the reliability of the device. 4th Generation Apex Locator:
5th Generation Apex Locator: In 2003, the fifth generation of apex locator devices were developed. They measured the resistance and capacitance of the circuit separately. The addition of a diagnostic table including statistics of values at different positions made it easier to diagnose the position of the file. Considerable difficulties were faced, while operating in dry canals.
The sixth generation of adaptive apex locators, overcome the disadvantages o 4th and 5th generation of apex locators which have displayed low accuracy when working with wet and dry canals respectively. The advantage of this generation of apex locators is that they continuously define the humidity of the canal and adapt to the dry of wet canal. This makes it possible for it to be used in dry and wetted canals as well. Moreover, their usage can be extended to canals with blood or exudates and canals in which the pulp has not been extirpated. 6th Generation Apex Locator:
POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE USING APEX LOCATORS: Using apex locators to accurately determine the working length has a learning curve. The following points can be useful while using apex locators: Cover the endodontic file with EDTA prior to entering the canal Isolation is significant to avoid any conducting material between the lip hook and the endodontic file Avoiding file contact with metallic restorations is recommended Using files that are very loose in the canal might show wobbling results While using apex locators in Class II deep cavities, salivary contamination should be avoided Use apex locators after complete pulp extirpation and irrigation with sodium hypochlorite Sometimes dry canals can display improper results too, wherein slightly wetting the canal with NaOCl is recommended Pre endodontic restorations can aid in avoiding contamination by saliva Apex locators can be used to detect perforations too Advance the file till the apex locator reads “APEX”, showing that the file is patent. Then slowly retract to find the apical constriction
HOW TO BUY APEX LOCATORS ONLINE IN INDIA? Most of the brands import apex locators from abroad and sell it in India through their brand partners. Major brands have more than 1 product and are highly sought-after by dentists throughout the country. You can order Apex Locators online or offline, however ordering online will help you in comparing prices, checking reviews and shortlisting the best products.
WHY BUY APEX LOCATORS FROM PINKBLUE.IN? You can buy apex locators online in India from PinkBlue.in. We have the largest collection of Apex Locators from over 14 brands and across price ranges. Bombay Dental Rootor, Coltene Canal Pro, Ionyx Locapex Five, Kerr Apex Id and Micro Mega MM Control are some of the quality devices available online at PinkBlue.in Apex locators come with the option for Cash on Delivery, Free Delivery, manufacturer warranty and more offers when you buy from PinkBlue.in.
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