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Rotary Endodontics versus Traditional Root Canal Therapy

Posted on: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

If you’ve ever undergone a root canal to save an infected tooth, your dentist probably didn’t mention the type of tools he was using to perform the procedure. You may not think it matters as long as the treatment is effective; however, if your root canal was performed using the traditional manual method, you may have noticed that it was a bit nerve-racking. Here at Avalon Dental Center, we use rotary endodontic technology to make the experience smoother and more comfortable for our patients.

Root Canal Therapy

Teeth are made up of several parts – the outer enamel, the dentin, and the inner pulp material which consists of nerves and blood vessels. Damage to the outer areas of the tooth can often be repaired with fillings or composite restorations, but once the pulp has become infected, a root canal is the only way to save the tooth.

A root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, involves the removal of the infected pulp from the inner root canals that contain it. Afterward, the root canals are cleaned, sealed, and protected by the placement of a dental crown. This procedure has been performed manually for many years, but recently a more advanced method was developed – rotary endodontics.

Rotary Endodontics

Rotary endodontics employs electrically-powered instruments to perform the root canal treatment rather than traditional stainless-steel manual files. The electric hand tool is equipped with a tip constructed out of nickel titanium – a material that is five times more flexible than stainless steel.

Due to the flexibility and unique movement of the nickel-titanium instrument, it can be inserted deeply into a curved root canal without stretching or damaging the passageway. This makes for a quick and reliable procedure.

Advantages of Rotary Endodontics

Dentists like Dr. Michael Ofir prefer using rotary endodontic methods over manual root canal treatments for several reasons:

  • The nickel titanium cleans out the root canal much more smoothly and consistently.
  • Rotary endodontic procedures are more reliable with less chance of complications.
  • Rotary tools make the root canal procedure much faster.
  • The electric tools are much quieter and smoother, without the loud grinding that accompanies manual files.
  • The fast treatment time, in conjunction with quieter instruments, make for a much more comfortable and less frightening experience for patients.

Although using a manual file will still clean out the root canals thoroughly, most dentists and patients prefer rotary endodontics. In fact, it was largely the loud grinding of manual files that gave root canal therapy the reputation of being a “scary” or “undesirable” procedure. With rotary endodontics, patients feel much more comfortable during the treatment and barely notice the whirring of the tools.

To learn about our advanced dental techniques, contact our Somerville, MA office, or read more:

Root Canal Therapy
Porcelain Dental Crowns

Why Choose Us?

  • Top quality and personalized dental care
  • Best and experienced dentists
  • General and cosmetic dentistry
  • The latest dental technology
  • Convenient location and hours of operation


All major insurances accepted


160 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 374-9500

120 Temple Street
Somerville, MA 02145
Phone: (617) 776-9000

Assembly Square
5 Middlesex Ave # 305
Somerville, MA 02145
Phone: (617) 764-1781