by Dr Dean Martin, Dean A. Martin Dental Surgery, Dianella, WA
The Propex 2 locates the apex by using a file and displaying the result on a small computer screen. There is an image of a tooth root in conjunction with measurements ranging from 2mm down to zero. When the file gets close to the 2mm mark, the screen lights up and will show its position in relation to the apex.
What’s good about it
The locator works for all teeth provided the file is placed carefully into each canal. As the file approaches the apex, the machine will start to beep and show how close you are in fraction of millimetres.
Initially, I always took an additional X-ray to confirm its data but I have stopped doing that because of its accuracy. Of course, difficult, curved canals still require a radiograph. I know it’s accurate because when I take an X-ray at the end of the treatment, the root filling is in the exact position I expect it to be.
It’s a brilliant piece of equipment and has definitely improved the quality of my root canal treatments. When I look at the results, I feel like I am almost doing specialist work. For general dentists who are doing root canals regularly, it really is a wonderful tool.
What’s not so good
When there is a lot of pus build-up and inflammation, the readings may not be as accurate. Likewise, if you are doing a root canal on an existing crown, it’s important that the file doesn’t touch the metal of the crown or it will give an incorrect result.
I’ve also noticed that when the battery indicator hits the midway point, the results can be a little off. I always make sure the battery is fully charged.
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