Tools of the trade: Protaper


Protaper dentist reviewby Dr Graham Woolley, LG Woolley, GB Woolley, Lars Broders, Ferntree Gully, VIC


For many years endodontics has been performed with hand instruments that could make access quite difficult and tiring. When I was looking at mechanical systems, I tried the Protaper system and it just made sense.


What’s good about it

If you put too much pressure on the instrument, it beeps a warning. If you ignore the warning it automatically goes into reverse and pushes out of the canal. So it keeps you out of trouble and gives a uniform cavity preparation. You get good feel with it and know you’ve reached the right depth when putting in gutta percha. With other systems, it was a bit too easy to extrude it through the end of the tooth. That’s not disastrous but it can cause a little bit of pain.

I also started using a sonic cleaner made by Micra-Mega for cleaning out the pulp canal. This cleans the site nicely and makes for clear vision. There was a theory that a little bit of ground-up tooth was pushed ahead of the root filling material which causes pain. Now I very rarely get a patient who complains of discomfort after I’ve finished a case.

Protaper makes the whole process much quicker and I get a consistent result. One of the big problems with endodontics is following the canal in a twisted root. Due to the flexibility of nickel titanium, it follows well. You can feel if you’re getting into trouble, back off, use the hand instruments and then go back down with nickel titanium files.


What’s not so good

The foot control has quite a stiff wire that makes it difficult to position. If it was a soft wire, you could place it exactly where you want–out of the way of the wheels of your chair. As it sits on a smooth surface, you need to trap it with one foot and operate it with the other.


Where did you get it



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