Accuracy of Working Length Measured by Apex Locator and Digital Radiography

Ghulam Ishaq Khan                   BDS

Muhammad Talha Khan            BDS, FCPS

Saroosh Ehsan                          BDS, FCPS

Anam Fayyaz                             BDS, FCPS

Haider Amin Malik                     BDS, FCPS

Shafqat Hussain                         BDS, FCPS

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare the measurements of electronic and radiographic method of working lengths calculation with actual working length of root canals. Precise working length determination is the most important part for successful root canal procedure. The most commonly used methods to determine the working length in root canal treatment are radiography and electronic apex locator.
METHODOLOGY: A cross sectional study was done over a period of 06 months in the Department of Operative Dentistry, Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore. Sixty patients who were recommended extraction of their premolar teeth with sixty canals were selected by convenience sampling. The Root ZX* apex locator was used to determine electronic working length exactly identifying the apical constriction. Reference points were identified and radiographic working length were determined 1mm short of radiographic apex. The teeth were extracted along with file cemented before extraction inside root canal. The actual length of the root canal was then calculated using the same files and reference point with 3.5X magnification. Pearson chisquare test was applied to compare the apex locator and digital radiographic measurement with actual working length.
RESULTS: The Root ZX® apex locator was 95% accurate to identify the apical constriction as compared 70% accuracy given by radiographs within 0.5 mm of the apex.
CONCLUSION: Electronic apex locator was more accurate as compared to digital radiography in working length determination.
KEYWORDS: Working length (WL), Electronic apex locators (EAL), Radiographic working length(RWL), Apical constriction (AC)
HOW TO CITE: Khan GI, Khan MT, Ehsan S, Fayyaz A, Malik HA, Hussain S. Accuracy of working length measured by apex locator and digital radiography. J Pak Dent Assoc 2021;30(1):24-28.
Received: 19 October 2020, Accepted: 11 December 2020
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