Text by dr. Riccardo Tonini
In endodontics, glide path means a smooth radicular tunnel from the canal orifice to the apical construction. Until recently, it could be penetrated with manual or rotary files made of steel or Niti to allow probing and debridement. Today, thanks to IrriFlex, glide cleaning procedures can also include irrigation needles.
Instrumentation of root canal systems should involve a repeating series of steps which include a cycle of negotiation, creation of patency and a glide path. Those steps should always be accompanied with a thorough debris removal in order to avoid accidental canal blockage or apical extrusion of debris. This is of concern since material extruded from the apical foramen may be related to post-instrumentation pain or to a flare-up. This is why it is so important to introduce deep irrigation techniques from the very beginning of every root canal treatment.
Predictable successful endodontic therapy depends on correct diagnosis, effective cleaning, shaping and disinfection of the root canals and adequate obturation. The crown down technique is considered the most effective method for canal instrumentation. It uses step-down concepts for shaping the entire canal length. Unfortunately, this method leads to producing a considerable amount of debris and smear layer and it’s nearly impossible to reach the same canal penetration of NiTi rotary files with conventional metal needles.
Recently, Produits Dentaires introduced a real game changer in dental irrigation which significantly improved the efficiency of root canal treatments: IrriFlex. This 30 g needle made is made of polypropylene with a back-to-back 2-side vent design. Thanks to its flexibility, IrriFlex makes the glide cleaning with an efficient debris removal easy.
Fig. 1: Upper first molar, with a complex mesial root. Mb1 and Mb2 join before the deep apical curvature.
Fig. 4: Limited penetration of a 30g needle. The needle is blocked at the beginning of the curvature, not for the diameter of the canal preparation, but due its composition in stainless steel.
Fig. 5: Irriflex can penetrate immediately at the same level of mechanical preparation. Its flexibility ensures a smooth penetration inside the canal.
Fig. 6: A complete cleaned Mb1 and Mb2 and Isthmus after the glide cleaning performed with Irriflex.