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Quintessence Int 28 (1997), No. 6     1. June 1997
Quintessence Int 28 (1997), No. 6  (01.06.1997)

Page 397-402


Instrument deterioration with usage: Nickel-titanium versus stainless steel
Zuolo / Walton
Nickel-titanium instruments purportedly resist deformation and loss of sharpness better than do stainless steel instruments but may be more susceptible to breakage. The processes of wear and breakage of nickel-titanium and stainless steel instruments were examined. Sixty files of five types (12 each) and three manufacturers were used. All were used repeatedly in curved canals until failure or for a maximu of 22 minutes. Each instrument was examined with scanning electron microscopy both new (control) and at s paced intervals for evidence of wear and fatigue. All new instruments were of good quality. Stainless steel instruments tended to wear the most rapidly, and next were nickel-titanium rotary instruments; the most resistant to wear were nickel-titanium hand instruments. There were few instrument separations. In general, nickl-titanium (particularly hand) instruments resisted deterioration better than did stainless steel. Nickel-titanium rotary instruments (2 of 12) had the most breakage.