The present study compared the accuracy of three electronic apex locators (EALs) - Elements Diagnostic®, Root ZX® and Apex DSP® - in the presence of different irrigating solutions (0.9% saline solution and 1% sodium hypochlorite). The electronic measurements were carried out by three examiners, using twenty extracted human permanent maxillary central incisors. A size 10 K file was introduced into the root canals until reaching the 0.0 mark, and was subsequently retracted to the 1.0 mark. The gold standard (GS) measurement was obtained by combining visual and radiographic methods, and was set 1 mm short of the apical foramen. Electronic length values closer to the GS (± 0.5 mm) were considered as accurate measures. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to verify inter-examiner agreement. The comparison among the EALs was performed using the McNemar and Kruskal-Wal-lis tests (p < 0.05). The ICCs were generally high, ranging from 0.8859 to 0.9657. Similar results were observed for the percentage of electronic measurements closer to the GS obtained with the Elements Diagnostic® and the Root ZX® EALs (p > 0.05), independent of the irrigating solutions used. The measurements taken with these two EALs were more accurate than those taken with Apex DSP®, regardless of the irrigating solution used (p < 0.05). It was concluded that Elements Diagnostic® and Root ZX® apex locators are able to locate the cementum-dentine junction more precisely than Apex DSP®. The presence of irrigating solutions does not interfere with the performance of the EALs.
- Dental instruments
- Root canal therapy