Endodontic files and reamers are specialized surgical tools used by dentists when performing root canal treatments. These instruments are used to clean and shape the root canal, removing dead, damaged, or infected material to the opening at the apex of the tooth root. The concept behind this is to perform a complete chemomechanical debridement of the root canal along the apical foramen. This preparation of the channel facilitates chemical disinfection to a satisfactory length, as well as providing a shape that leads to plugging (filling of the channel).The type of file or reamer used depends on the clinical case, as well as the methodology of the endodontist.
Some endodontists are more conservative than others, and may alternate and combine files. K files are still the most widely used and practical, although machined files are more expensive and brittle in the distal segments. Using endodontic files and reamers is an important part of root canal treatments. They help to clean and shape the root canal, providing a form that is responsive to subsequent filling. This ensures that the treatment is effective in removing dead, damaged, or infected material from the tooth root.