Clinical evaluation of apex locator and radiography in primary teeth

Int J Paediatr Dent. 2015 May;25(3):199-203. doi: 10.1111/ipd.12128. Epub 2014 Jul 30.


Aim: The aim of this in vivo study was to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of electronic apex locater and radiographic determination of root canal length in primary teeth.

Methodology: A total of 32 human primary molar teeth (96 roots) were selected. After endodontic access preparation, root canals were irrigated with physiological saline solution. The access cavities were dried with cotton pellets and, the roots were dried with paper points before performing the electronic measurement. The root canal length measurements were first taken with an apex locater (EndoMaster), and then, a size ♯ 15 K-file was inserted into the root canal, and radiography was taken to determine the working length measurements. The measurement data were recorded and compared by one-way anova and Kruskal-Wallis tests. P < 0.05 was accepted for the significance.

Results: The mean values for radiography were 13.23 ± 1.92 mm and for EndoMaster were 13.08 ± 1.77 mm. The accuracy of EndoMaster was 80.2% in correct measurements ±1 mm (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The electronic apex locators could be useful in determining working length and thereby decreasing the need for radiographs and exposure to ionizing radiation in pediatric dental patients.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Odontometry / instrumentation*
  • Root Canal Preparation
  • Tooth Apex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / diagnostic imaging*
  • X-Ray Film