The effect of root canal taper on the irrigant flow: evaluation using an unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics model

C. Boutsioukis, C. Boutsioukis, C. Gogos, B. Verhaagen, Michel Versluis, E. Kastrinakis, L.W.M. van der Sluis

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Aim  To evaluate the effect of root canal taper on irrigant flow inside a prepared root canal during final irrigation with a syringe and two types of needles, using a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. Methodology  A validated CFD model was used to simulate irrigant flow from either a side-vented or a flat 30G needle positioned inside size 30, .02 taper, 30, .04, 30, .06, ProTaper F3 or size 60, .02 taper root canals, at 3 mm short of working length (WL). Velocity, pressure and shear stress in the root canal were evaluated. Results  The side-vented needle could not achieve irrigant replacement to the WL in any of the cases. Significant irrigant replacement was evident further than 2 mm apically to the tip of the flat needle in the size 30, .06 taper, F3 and size 60, .02 taper canal. A wider distribution of wall shear stress was noted as the canal taper increased but the maximum shear stress decreased. The flat needle led to higher mean pressure at the apical foramen. Both needles showed a similar gradual decrease in apical pressure as the taper increased, but the least pressure was calculated in the size 60, .02 taper canal. Conclusions  An increase in root canal taper improved irrigant replacement and wall shear stress whilst reducing the risk for irrigant extrusion. Irrigant flow in a minimally tapered root canal with a large apical preparation size also improved irrigant replacement and wall shear stress and reduced the risk for irrigant extrusion, compared to the tapered root canals with a smaller apical preparation size
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)909-1006
Number of pages8
JournalInternational endodontic journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • IR-79281
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • METIS-268005
  • Irrigation
  • root canal taper
  • Needle

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